Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early treatment decorative image

Smith Orthodontics provides early orthodontic treatments in Beavercreek, OH. Call 937-431-0947 to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

In decades past, orthodontic treatment was reserved for teenagers. We waited for their jaws to fuse, then corrected any problems as best as we could. Modern orthodontics takes a much more effective approach by influencing the jaw as it develops to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists now recommends that every child see an orthodontist by the age of 7 or even earlier if there is cause for concern.

The first adult molars start to erupt around the age of 7, which helps define a child’s back bite and allows us to evaluate it. Often, treatment at this age isn’t necessary and we simply monitor your child’s growth and development. Other times, early orthodontic treatment is needed.

Our goal is to start treatment during the ideal window of time when treatment is effective and when it’s early enough to prevent future problems. The results of effective early orthodontic treatment include:

    • Reducing the need for tooth extraction prior to braces by expanding the jaw
    • Creating sufficient space for teeth to erupt when there is crowding
    • Reducing the risk of injury to protruding front teeth
    • Maintaining space for permanent teeth
    • Reducing the amount of time needed in braces during the teen years

Phase I Treatment

Phase I treatment refers to the preparation needed for the teeth and jaw prior to receiving braces. This phase of treatment usually occurs between the ages of 7 and 11, when children have mixed dentition (baby teeth and adult teeth), and it often involves appliances that create space in the mouth and correct bite problems while the jaw is still growing. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Orthodontic Treatment

Is early orthodontic treatment necessary?

Not all children need early orthodontic treatment. If your child comes in for an evaluation and we don’t see a need for early orthodontics, we’ll ask that you schedule another appointment in a year so we can continue to monitor their development. 

What is interceptive orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics is another phrase used to describe early orthodontic treatment or Phase I treatment.

What is a space maintainer?

A space maintainer is one of the appliances we use in early orthodontic treatment. If a baby tooth falls out earlier than we’d like and we don’t expect the adult tooth to erupt for some time, we use a space maintainer to prevent adjacent teeth from drifting into the newly opened space. This helps make sure there’s enough room for the adult tooth to erupt when it’s time.

What is the best age to get a palate expander?

Palate expanders are used to influence the shape and size of the upper jaw while a child is still growing. The best age for palate expansion is usually between 8 and 13 years old.

What is a harmful habit appliance?

A habit appliance (sometimes known as a harmful habit appliance) is an orthodontic device used to stop oral habits that can have a negative impact on the teeth or jaw growth. Habit appliances can be used to prevent thumb and finger sucking and tongue thrusting.

Call 937-431-0947 to schedule your appointment.

Why Orthodontics?

Correct tooth alignment is critical to healthy teeth, and good oral health is critical to our overall health. Good oral health helps to prevent many diseases and allows us to enjoy a healthy diet and feel good about ourselves when we smile.

Learn More about why orthodontic treatment may be needed.