Over the years, one of the most common questions I get from Parents is, “when should my child be checked for braces?” The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children to start being checked for Orthodontic treatment at 7 years old and older. At 7 years old, Orthodontists check for 3 things:
- Do all of the adult teeth have room to erupt
- Are the jaw bones growing normal
- Are there any self-esteem issues the child is having from their teeth
If the answer to all of the above questions is no, then we will put your child on our recall system and see you every 6 months until treatment is possibly needed. This was we will be ahead of any potential problems.
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then Phase I treatment is recommended. Phase I treatment is when a child receives Orthodontic treatment when they have baby teeth and adult teeth at the same time. Or in other words, when they are in their mixed dentition phase. If a child needs more room for their teeth to erupt, then we would place braces and a possible expander to help make the necessary room for their adult teeth to erupt in. A common tooth that needs more room to erupt is the upper canine teeth. That is because the upper canine is the last tooth to erupt. Making room for the canine to erupt into will help decrease the chances the tooth requires surgical help to grow into place.
There are three main ways for a jaw to not grow normally. If the childs back upper teeth are growing inside their lower teeth (posterior crossbite). A palatal expander would be used to treat a posterior crossbite. If the childs front teeth are stuck behind their lower front teeth (anterior crossbite). A facemask may be used to treat an anterior crossbite. Lastly, if the bottom jaw is growing deficient in comparison to the upper jaw, causing a large overbite. Braces and rubber bands may be used to treat a large overbite.
If a child is having self-esteem issues from their teeth, getting braces just to align their teeth can greatly increase their confidence and the psycho-social benefits will last into adulthood. Unfortunately, in this age of social media, bullying has increased and a simple setup of even six brackets can help a child greatly.
After a child completes Phase I treatment, they will be given a retainer. We will then monitor the child to make sure all their baby teeth fall out in the correct order and see when they will be ready for Phase II treatment. Phase II treatment is when a child has all of their adult teeth grown in, and gets braces on all of their adult teeth. The main benefits of Phase I treatment is possibly avoiding permanent teeth to be extracted when they receive full orthodontic treatment. Also, when the child does receive Phase II treatment, it will most likely be for a shorter duration than if Phase I was not completed.
If your child is 7 or older, make a complimentary consultation with Dr. Ray to see if your child can benefit from Phase I treatment.
Ray Orthodontics proudly provides Braces and Invisalign care to children, teens, and adults in the Montebello, Palmdale, Pico Rivera, Whittier, East LA, Monterey Park, Lancaster, Alhambra, Huntington Park, South Gate,
Downey, El Monte, Lynwood, Cudahy, Walnut Park & Commerce, CA. areas.
To schedule your free consultation, please call 323-597-1712.