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Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment in Arkansas

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial evaluation at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than the age of seven.  We’re inclined to agree in this recommendation for early orthodontic treatment. Those guys know what they’re talking about and it would be really awkward at orthodontist parties if we were to say any different. After all, seven is the age first adult molars appear, establishing the posterior occlusion or bite.

Left to their own devices, teeth can be just like the child they belong to. You can’t be sure where they’ll end up, but you can bet it won’t be good if you don’t check in on them once in awhile. Further action may not be necessary, but these examinations can still detect potential issues and anticipate the best time to begin treatment.  

This approach helps guide growth and development, preventing serious problems later.  

Some of the most direct results of early treatment include:

  • Creating room for crowded teeth
  • Correcting teeth that grow to cause a crossbite
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to the front teeth
  • Preserving space for teeth that haven’t grown in yet
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Influencing jaw growth for better facial symmetry

Many of our orthodontic treatment plans for younger kids have two phases. This is because there are some matters that are better to address while patients are younger. The goal of this multi-level approach is to solve jaw and bite problems, while clearing the way for permanent teeth to grow the way they should. It’s something that can help to avoid more serious issues when patients are older.

Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment often begins between seven and ten-years-old, with treatment usually lasting no longer than a year.

Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment is then needed later to align permanent teeth that grew in after the initial round of procedures. At this point, the patient is typically able to wear a full set of braces. As a bridge from the first phase to the second, retainers may be required and office visits are still necessary to make sure later treatments start at the best time.

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