Treatment for Kids
Children can benefit from an initial orthodontic exam early in their dental development -- around the age of 7-8 years old. Factors like a child's age, heredity, and overall dental health all factor into an individual's treatment plan. Treatment is usually completed in phases.
Orthodontics help us to guide dental growth, which can:
+Decrease the need for surgery, extractions, and time in braces later on,
+Improve the patient's profile, and
+Provide a stable, finished result.
Phase I - Orthodontic Treatment
In Phase I treatment, we typically utilize functional orthopedics such as expansion and habit-breaking appliances to improve the growth and development of the jaw. Sometimes short-term braces are necessary to assist healthy jaw growth in children, to prevent difficult extractions, or even surgical orthodontics later.
There can also be a period of observation between phases. During this period, we observe the eruption of the adult teeth and monitor patients periodically to ensure proper jaw growth and development. Some Phase I treatments do so well that the patient does not need Phase II, or full-mouth braces.
Phase 2 - Orthodontic Treatment
If Phase II treatment is needed, it involves full-mouth braces, and takes place after a patient's 12-year molars come in, which can occur any time from 11-14 years of age. We use a light-wire, bonded-brace system that does not require tightening, but does require monthly visits.
At your visits, we remove the rubber bands that hold the wires in place, replace the wires, and replace the rubber bands. We do not physically twist or tighten your braces. Treatments are more efficient, do not cause discomfort, and are completed in less time.
Once a patient completes Phase II treatment, there are different types of retainers to help maintain your smile. We will continue to follow the development of your wisdom teeth and maintain your teeth as you age.
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