Guidelines for everything change based on the latest research and studies. This holds true in orthodontics as well.
When thinking about early childhood orthodontics, think skeletal (meaning the jaws) and less about dental (the teeth). Why? Well for one, not all of the adult teeth are in at age 7, but we are able to gauge how the jaws are growing. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7.
Although it seems like children are getting braces younger, the truth is only a small percentage of children need early orthodontic treatment (also known as phase I treatment). It’s important to be proactive and identify problems before the permanent teeth erupt. Sometimes patients will need an expander to fix early crowding. This early intervention could benefit the patient by preventing extractions later in life, encouraging proper chewing and speaking, and guiding jaw growth.
Find an orthodontist you trust. If your child needs orthodontic intervention at an early age (Phase I treatment), think of your child’s orthodontic journey like driving from Michigan to Florida. You could split that drive into two days and stay overnight in Nashville to make the experience and outcome much more positive (Phase I and phase II treatment). Or you could try to drive it all in one day from Michigan to Florida (don’t get an orthodontic evaluation at an early age and try to cram it all in when they are teenagers). You’re picking up what I’m laying down.
Dr. Fraser and Dr. Schering specialize in early orthodontic treatment with braces, expanders, and Invisalign. If your child does not need phase I treatment like the majority of kids, they will be placed in our Growth Observation Program where we check in once per year to monitor their growth. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today at 734-392 8288 or [email protected]!