Our Reno, NV orthodontist, Dr. Kent Phillips and his Legendary Smiles staff often answer questions posed by parents pertaining to children and braces. Hence, we’d like to dedicate this blog post to the topic of early orthodontic treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment is important for many children whose teeth and jaws are still developing. When detected early on, many problems can be corrected relatively easily wherein the need for more extensive treatment later in life can be prevented or eliminated altogether. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about early orthodontic treatment along with the answers.
When Should I Take My Child to His or Her First Orthodontic Appointment?
Even though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that the initial evaluation should take place at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than the age of 7. Even though a child may not require treatment at this stage of life, a thorough examination can help determine when the best time for beginning treatment could be.
Age 7 Seems So Early. Why This Age?
By the time a child reaches the age of 7, the first adult molars will have erupted to establish the back bite. This is when Dr. Phillips can evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. When a child visits an orthodontist at a young age, it can greatly increase the chances of him or her having a straight and beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
What is Phase One Treatment?
Phase One treatment, if deemed necessary, is treatment provided to children between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. This treatment generally lasts from 15 to 21 months. The goal of Phase One treatment is to address significant problems in order to prevent them from becoming more serious at a later point in life.
It’s easier to correct some orthodontic problems before they become severe and Phase One treatment makes subsequent orthodontic treatment significantly easier and faster. Expanders are commonly used during Phase One treatment to create more room for crowded teeth. Once your child has been evaluated, we will determine whether he or she will benefit from an expander.
Will My Child Need to Wear Braces Once Phase One Treatment is Completed?
It’s best to assume that your child will need to wear full braces once Phase one treatment is completed. After treatment has been completed, a “resting period” is necessary wherein growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. During this time, we will keep you informed of any future treatment recommendations we may have.
How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Wearing Children’s Braces?
It’s common for children to experience some difficultly getting used to wearing braces. When braces are first put on, they can make the teeth feel sore so it’s wise to have some non-prescription pain reliever on hand to give your child to help cope with this soreness.
If your child is being fitted for metal braces, he or she can choose the colors of the bands placed on the brackets. Many of our young patients choose their school colors or favorite team colors for their bands, which adds a personalized, positive touch.
We hope these questions and answers about kids and braces have been helpful! If you have any further questions about Reno children’s braces, please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we’re always more than happy to speak with you!