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Isn't my kid too young for ortho?

Posted by DR. CHRISTOPHER WONG on Mar 25 2020, 07:59 AM

Everyone is different, and no rules tell that you can only have braces, once you develop all your permanent teeth. Sometimes this waiting can develop into other major problems.

 AAO suggests evaluating orthodontics for children at the age of 7, which is the period when they lose all their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth begin to erupt. These early evaluations will help in recognizing any irregularities in the child’s mouth before developing any orthodontic issue. 

With early orthodontic treatment, the dentist can start designing a treatment plan which can help in guiding your child’s teeth to their proper positions. For this, your child needs to undergo, two-phase orthodontic treatment.

What is involved in those two phases?

Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is also called early orthodontic treatment or interceptive orthodontics. Early orthodontic treatment is beneficial; it is easy to treat certain irregularities like crowded teeth at the age of 7 than an older child, as this is the time when the child’s jaw is still growing. To serve the purpose, the dentist uses a palatal expander, which will help in expanding the upper arch of your child’s teeth, to make room for the permanent teeth.

If your child has issues like protruding front teeth and crossbites, then it can be fixed using certain orthodontic appliances. Hence, your child may not need any jaw surgery in the future and can also shorten treatment time for braces. 

The Orthodontic Resting Period

Between the two phases, the child will be given a resting period for a year or two. During this period, the child’s permanent teeth will erupt in better positions due to Phase 1 treatment. The child might be recommended to wear a retainer during this period to maintain the effects of Phase 1 braces.

Phase 2 Braces

After the eruption of all permanent teeth in your child’s mouth, phase 2 orthodontic treatment will begin. Depending on your child’s case, at phase 2 treatment, the dentist will entail braces on the upper and lower teeth for a certain amount of time. Your child will experience a shorter and easier time in braces and also can avoid any extractions or surgery.


Call us (925) 855-1604 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Wong for a consultation at our office in San Ramon, CA.


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