Orthodontics for Children

Early Orthodontic Treatment for Kids

Protects Your Child’s Smile & Saves You Time & Money.

We understand how important your children are to you. That’s why we encourage you to bring them in for an early orthodontic exam at approximately age 7, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists. Bite problems may be present at this age which, left unattended, can be difficult to correct at a later age or even cause irreparable damage to the permanent teeth. Even one crooked tooth can throw off the bite, hinder proper cleaning, and cause functional problems as your child grows older. These issues can include gum disease, cavities and speech disorders. Dr. Bennett will conduct a comprehensive exam to check for these and other problems:
  • Excessive wear & chipping of front teeth
  • Severe crowding
  • Poor jaw growth
  • Habits: finger/thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting
  • Crossbite of front & back teeth
  • Eruption problems & space management

The Benefits Of Correcting Bite Problems Early

Early treatment may achieve results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. Additionally, early detection and treatment can prevent your child from needing costly and time-consuming dental care in the future. You’ll be happy to know that Dr. Bennett always looks at conservative treatment options first. He uses the latest interceptive methods to correct problems before they progress badly and require surgical correction.  Early intervention can reduce treatment time for your child’s braces later on and provide a stable, healthy bite for a lifetime.

Phase I Treatment

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, may include space maintainers, partial braces, or active retainers. We only recommend Phase I treatment when there is a moderate to severe orthodontic problem that should not wait until later to be treated.

The goal of Phase I treatment is to aid in the development of the child’s jaw in order to allow adequate room for the future eruption of permanent teeth, and improve the bite relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Early treatment can benefit a child if either the upper or lower jaw is growing at a faster rate. By correcting the problem at a younger age, you can often prevent the need for extractions, jaw surgery, and dental trauma. Without a needed Phase I treatment patients could develop more severe conditions that will not be able to be treated with braces alone.

Phase I treatment time is typically 9-12 months, depending on patient cooperation. After treatment, the patient will be given a retainer and monitored while waiting for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.

When most/all of the permanent teeth have erupted, the doctor will recommend a Phase II treatment (typically between the ages of 11-13). When a patient is ready for Phase II, both upper and lower braces will be placed and the teeth will be aligned and positioned to maximize their appearance and function.

Potential Benefits of Phase I Treatment:

  • Influence the jaw growth in a positive manner.
  • Improve the width of the upper or lower arch.
  • Maintain or gain space for erupting teeth.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for future jaw surgery.
  • Reduce the need for future extractions.
  • Correct harmful oral habits.
  • Reduce the risk of trauma to protrusive front teeth.
  • Improve speech development.
  • Shorten treatment time for Phase II treatment.
  • Improve aesthetics and self-esteem.

Make a beautiful smile possible for your child.