The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit to the orthodontist at age 7. Phase One Orthodontics corrects dental and skeletal problems in a child’s growing mouth. Early intervention often gives their permanent teeth the best possible chance of coming in straight. Early treatment even helps break certain habits that can affect skeletal growth, like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. When applied correctly, it can dramatically affect a child's growth and development, contact us today.
As we touched on above, Phase One Early Treatment Orthodontics is used to correct minor alignment problems in a child’s baby teeth before all of their permanent teeth come in. Dr. Valant can also use it to help a child stop habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting that could lead to future orthodontic issues.
The way one’s upper and lower teeth meet is a crucial part of oral health, and bad bites (also known as “malocclusions”) are an unfortunate part of many children’s early lives. While every bite is unique, there are seven concerns that Phase One Orthodontics can be used to correct those problems.
A crossbite is when any upper teeth fit inside any lower teeth; this can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth. Over time, this can result in a shift of the jaw to one side, lopsided jaw growth, or a gradual, dangerous wearing away of the enamel.
When an underbite is present, the lower jaw sits noticeably in front of the upper jaw. If you have noticed that your child’s overall facial structure seems to resemble a bulldog, this is likely the cause. An untreated underbite can result in dangerous tooth wear and unpleasant stress on the jaw joints.
An open bite often develops because of excessive tongue thrusting, mouth breathing, and/or finger or thumb-sucking habits. It occurs when the front teeth do not overlap as they should. As a result, young patients are likely to experience trouble with swallowing, as the tongue will push through the teeth. They may also struggle to speak clearly.
A deep bite is the opposite of an open bite, as the upper front teeth actually cover the bottom teeth TOO much. Because of this, the upper teeth can accidentally bite into the gum tissue, while the lower teeth may bite into the roof of the mouth. Patients with this condition have a higher risk of abnormal jaw growth.
Crowding can happen for several reasons – some teeth may be overly big, or there could be inadequate space in the jaw. As a result, teeth may overlap with one another, become rotated, or even take on a noticeably crooked appearance. This makes them harder to clean and can result in oral health problems like cavities or gum disease.
When there is too much space between the teeth, complications can arise as well. This often occurs because of undersized teeth, an oversized jaw, teeth that are missing altogether, or a combination of these factors.
An overbite is present when the upper jaw is too far forward, the lower jaw is too far back, or a combination of both. As a result, the teeth appear to stick out and more prone to accidental fractures. Children may also find it harder to comfortably close their lips together, and it’s possible that they may develop speech problems as a result.
Any one or a combination of these common bite problems may exist in a child’s mouth, and they will likely not self-correct with growth. In fact, untreated problems tend to get worse with time. In most cases, bite problems are best treated while the child is still growing.
After a child has undergone Phase One Orthodontics, and when all permanent teeth have erupted, Dr. Valant will re-examine their mouth and may recommend Phase Two Orthodontics, which may involve the use of braces or aligner treatment. You don’t need to wait until your dentist refers you, contact us today.
There are many advantages a child enjoys when they get Phase One Orthodontics versus just using braces alone, a few of which include: