What Is Early Treatment?
Early treatment, also referred to as interceptive or Phase 1 treatment, begins with an orthodontist’s evaluation of your child’s teeth to check oral growth and development.
The goal of early treatment is to catch a developing problem before it becomes exaggerated due to jaw and facial growth. This gives you an opportunity to help alleviate early problems and to get the best results for your child in the most efficient way.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist by the age of 7 after some permanent teeth have erupted. Orthodontists are trained to identify subtle abnormalities in jaw growth and erupting permanent teeth. While not all children are candidates for early orthodontic treatment, some children may benefit from treating orthodontic problems sooner rather than later.
Reasons Your Child May Need Early Treatment:
- Thumb sucking or pacifier use causing an open bite
- Severe underbite
- Severe crowding of front or back teeth
- Severe protrusion of front teeth (which may increase the risk of trauma to these teeth)
- Crossbite of front teeth
- Crossbite of back teeth (which may cause the lower jaw to shift and grow to one side)