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Early OrthodonticTreatment
for Children

Early orthodontic treatment for children can shorten the length of treatment, ensure permanent teeth erupt properly, and correct bite problems before they advance. For some children, orthodontic treatment can begin as soon as their permanent teeth erupt. At Griffin Orthodontics we provide two-phase interceptive treatment to address a wide range of orthodontic issues.

When to Begin Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children undergo an orthodontic examination by age seven. At this age, Dr. Griffin will likely be able to recognize the need for future treatments. While most patients will not need to begin treatment at such a young age, some will benefit from early intervention. The advantage of starting orthodontic treatment early is that teeth are easier to adjust. Additionally, certain treatments can create space for adult teeth to erupt in a better position and angle.

Benefits of Early Orthodontics

There are many orthodontic issues that are easier to correct if they are detected early. Interceptive orthodontics can prevent severe problems from developing later in life and allow Dr. Griffin to control how permanent teeth erupt. Other benefits of early intervention include:

  • Improved prognosis for how permanent teeth develop
  • Elimination of habits that can affect development, such as thumb sucking
  • Correction of bite problems
  • A lower risk of damage to protruding teeth
  • Better accommodation of emerging teeth
  • Improved appearance and self-esteem
  • Symmetrical arrangement of teeth, lips, and face

Interceptive treatment can also minimize or eliminate the need for future, possibly more invasive, dental correction.

The Two-phased Approach

If Dr. Griffin determines that your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment, he will likely recommend a two-phased approach. The first phase can begin while your child still has most of their baby teeth. The second phase may occur when your child is older, depending on how their jaw and teeth develop.

First phase orthodontics is targeted at the prevention of future problems. Dr. Griffin can design a treatment plan that guides the growth of the jawbone and eruption of permanent teeth to avoid additional problems from occurring. This type of intervention can lower the risk of damage to certain teeth and establish better long-term stability for your child’s smile.

The second phase of early orthodontic treatment usually involves braces. This stage is meant to guide permanent teeth into their final positions and correct minor bite issues. For pre-teens and teenagers, braces can continue to improve the function and appearance of their smile.

The two phases of interceptive orthodontia are meant to complement each other. Dr. Griffin can take advantage of your child’s natural oral growth and development at a young age to provide more effective treatment. For some patients, early orthodontics can significantly reduce the timeline of their phase two treatment.