In the past, orthodontic treatment did not begin until around age 12-14. This is when all the permanent teeth are already erupted or very close to it. It was also common for the dentist to remove permanent teeth to correct the bite and allow for room for the final phase of tooth movement.
Many children require the guidance of dental and facial development as a first phase of orthodontic treatment, commonly called Phase 1 or Interceptive Orthodontics. If indicated, this is typically attempted in the mixed dentition or very early in the permanent dentition. For crowding problems, some lost space can be regained using appliances to reposition teeth to their original positions. Attempts to regain space are usually limited to mild or moderate crowding, depending on a number of variables. In a case with very mild crowding, space regaining can be postponed until the patient is ready for comprehensive orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition. Some patients have dramatic space shortages due to a general lack of space or space loss. If the crowding amounts to more than approximately 5 mm extraction of permanent teeth must be considered.
Parents and patients need to understand that when interceptive orthodontics is performed there is usually more than one phase of treatment. Phase two will begin when all the permanent teeth are in place. Going through phases allows for the second phase to be shorter in duration, since the major corrections happened in the interceptive orthodontics phase. Sometimes interceptive orthodontics are needed to correct problems related to skeletal development, and sometimes it is needed as a direct result of oral habits.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and book an appointment. Our orthodontist will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.
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115 Alexandra Park Road
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