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Many parents are worried about braces for kids. Why does my kid need to see an orthodontist? What’s the difference between early treatment and regular treatment? How will early treatment help my child in the long-run? These are just a few of the questions we hear from parents. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist as early as age seven. At this age, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth. This makes it easier for orthodontists to diagnose and correct problems without surgery. Early treatment (Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine. The goal of early treatment is to correct jaw and bite problems. Early treatment also helps make room for permanent teeth. If space can be made for teeth to come in properly, there will be less need for extraction later.

What causes orthodontic problems?

Orthodontic problems can actually be inherited. Crowding of the teeth, too much space between teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, or bad bites. Problems can also result from injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb sucking habits.

How will early treatment help my child?

Most kids have lost all their baby teeth by age thirteen. By the end of the teen years, the jaw bones will harden and no longer continue to grow. As a child, receiving early treatment can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult. It also leaves little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.

I think my child needs orthodontic treatment

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If your child is between the ages of 7 and 17 and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our office and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam. We will then discuss our findings with you and the best way to care for your child’s smile.

What are the signs for needing early treatment?

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  • Early or late loss of baby teeth.

  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting.

  • Mouth breathing.

  • Thumb-sucking past age five.

  • Speech impediments.

  • Widely-spaced adult teeth.

  • Protruding teeth.

  • Shifting of the jaw upon opening or closing the mouth.

  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight.

 

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