Braces have been a rite of passage for teenagers for years. However, the process for braces begins well before the teenage years. Do you know if your child requires orthodontic care? Learn more about orthodontic care and its process with help from your St. Louis, MO dentist.
Orthodontics: Early Intervention and Prevention
Phase One orthodontics is considered early treatment and refers to children who begin the orthodontic process between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase Two orthodontics refers to children who begin their orthodontic treatment at age 11 or older. Depending on the child’s teeth, their growth patterns, and their bite placement, orthodontic treatment may begin before the child has lost all of their baby teeth. Your St. Louis orthodontist can help you determine the best time to begin treatment for your child.
Why begin orthodontic treatment so early?
An orthodontic screening usually takes place by the time a child is 7 years old. Ultimately, an orthodontic screening determines if orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child. The screening examines the child’s bite pattern and determines if the rate of eruption of their permanent teeth is on track. Early treatment takes advantage of a child’s still-growing mouth and jaw and uses them to its advantage by guiding their growth. Your orthodontist can effectively monitor and manipulate the course on which the teeth and jaw grow, potentially decreasing treatment time and future complications. This process could greatly reduce the chance of necessary extractions or potential tooth or bite problems later on in life.
How do I know my child requires an orthodontic screening?
Children who require orthodontic treatment often exhibit certain symptoms, including:
- difficulty chewing or swallowing
- early or late eruption of permanent teeth
- overcrowding or gaps
- mouth breathing
- teeth which do not grow together properly or at all
If you are unsure whether your child requires orthodontic treatment, schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure your child receives the proper care. For more information on orthodontic care for your child, please contact Dr. Jeffery J. Johnson and Dr. Jodi B. Johnson in St. Louis, MO. Call (314) 427-7400 to schedule your appointment for orthodontic care today!