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                                           Orthodontics for children 
 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or by age 7. The permanent first molars and incisors (front four teeth) are in by this age and crowding, crossbites, deep and overbites along with growth problems can be evaluated. When necessary treatment is delivered at an early age, the orthodontist has the opportunity influence jaw growth and guide erupting permanent teeth. A child’s growth potential can be maximized to improve the malocclusion and give their permanent teeth the best chance of erupting into an ideal position. Treatment at this age can also address deficient growth of the upper jaw, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, and reduce the chances of permanent tooth impactions. Early treatment can simplify later treatment or allow Dr. Bradley to achieve results that may not be possible once a patient has finished growing. This type of treatment is termed Phase I or interceptive orthodontic treatment and is usually recommended for patients with more severe orthodontic problems. Your family dentist may suggest an orthodontic evaluation for your child, but a direct referral is not necessary. At this early age, orthodontic treatment will most likely not be needed but Dr. Bradley will carefully monitor your child’s growth and development to determine the best time to begin treatment.

Phase I treatment reduces the growth and development differences between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) jaws to improve a patient’s malocclusion and oftentimes give the permanent (adult) teeth the best chance to erupt into an ideal position. Phase I treatment enables a patient to achieve results that are not be possible once the child has finished growing. Dr. Bradley will only recommend interceptive treatment when the same result CANNOT be achieved if treatment is delayed until all or most of the permanent teeth are in place. Phase I is the first phase of an anticipated two-phase treatment plan. It usually does not eliminate the need for further treatment to align all the permanent teeth

Typical Developmental Issues that are best addressed at an earlier age with Phase I Treatment

Open bite

Deep bite

Crowding

Crossbites

Phase II treatment is the alignment phase of treatment. Phase II includes the placement of braces on all of the permanent teeth and is usually completed in 12-20 months.