Recommendations and Benefits of Orthodontic Treatments for Children
The Australian Association of Orthodontists recommends bringing your child for an initial orthodontic evaluation at no later than seven years of age. Orthodontic treatment may not be necessary at this early stage, though it is important to have a thorough examination, so problems can be anticipated and corrected before it’s too late.
Some of the benefits of early treatment include:
- Providing room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry and harmony by influencing jaw growth
- Minimising the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Maintaining space for unerupted teeth
- Minimising the need for tooth removal
- Minimising future orthodontic treatment
Please consider bringing your child in for a consultation if you feel that early orthodontic intervention may be necessary. Recall appointments are then free of charge as we monitor developing teeth, jaws and bite.
Two Phase Treatment
The goal of the first phase is to help the teeth and jaws develop in a way that will accommodate all the permanent teeth and also improve the way the upper and lower teeth and jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of teeth and jaw problems as they grow and develop. Early appliances are used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaws.
At the end of the first phase of treatment, all the permanent (adult) teeth are not yet in their final resting positions. During the monitoring period we continue to monitor the eruption of the permanent (adult) teeth with regular, complementary recall appointments. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this monitoring phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are ideal.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.