You may have heard the term early orthodontics, and are wondering just what that means. Or, you may be considering early orthodontic treatment for your child, and are not sure if it is right for him or her. If so, you are not alone. Some orthodontic practices have as many as 20 percent of patients in the 7- to 10-year-old age range. The reason for this is that many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as Phase I treatment or interceptive treatment, provides timely detection of problems, AND greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious orthodontic problems later.
If your child has any of the following issues, you may want to consider early orthodontic treatment:
Early, or late, loss of baby teeth (a child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and all of their permanent teeth should come in by age 12 to 13)
Difficulty chewing and/or biting
Crowded front teeth
Protruding teeth (the top teeth and bottom teeth extend away from each other)
Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner, or even at all
Early intervention can reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Kevin Horner, Dr. Keri Barrow and the Horner Barrow Orthodontics staff can evaluate your child and determine if his or her dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly, or if interceptive treatment is needed. In many cases, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated, removable appliances rather than traditional orthodontic treatment.
To schedule a consultation for your child at our Sioux Falls, SD office, please call. We’ll perform a thorough examination, and discuss with you any next steps we consider necessary toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.
At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.