Does My Child Need Early Phase Braces?
Have you noticed that some 7 and 8 year olds are sporting braces these days? We’re not surprised, however this is not simply a trend. As a matter of fact, some children benefit greatly from early orthodontic intervention, reducing painful and costly complications down the road. And you will be happy to know that we, as orthodontists, are getting better at spotting those kids early on that are good candidates for this treatment!
The fact is that most children don’t need early intervention. So how do you know if your child needs early phase braces?
As early as age six, we are able to identify children that have serious alignment issues in their jaws. These children are often good candidates for early phase (also called “two-phase”) braces. If we determine that your child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment, it is because we believe that it will reduce their need for extractions, surgeries and other costly and dramatic treatments down the road.
The first (early) phase of treatment takes place while your child still has both permanent and baby teeth (usually around age 7 or 8). This first set of braces is typically worn for 12-18 months and corrects functional and skeletal problems such as overcrowding.
Next, there is a resting period, during which we wait for all of the permanent teeth to come in.
Once your child has all of his or her permanent teeth, the second phase of treatment begins. During this phase, usually we place a full set of upper and lower braces. However, because the jaws are in better position and each adult tooth has its own space, we can usually focus on the aesthetics of your child/teen’s smile!
If you have questions or concerns about early phase braces, please give us a call!
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