When Should I Bring My Child to See the Orthodontist?
Dr. April Lee advises that patients follow the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists by bringing 7-year-old children in for an assessment. At this early age, a careful examination can ensure proper treatment and the healthiest smile.
What Does a Children’s Orthodontist Do?
A pediatric orthodontist aims to improve the look and function of a child’s smile by employing a variety of appliances and treatments. Orthodontists are responsible for fitting fixed devices like braces, which utilize gentle pressure to align teeth into the proper position.
When you visit a children’s orthodontist, your child will receive a thorough bite and teeth assessment. From there the orthodontist will determine which treatment is best suited for your child’s smile.
What are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Evaluation?
When you bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, your child will receive benefits including:
- Timely Detection: If your child does have pressing orthodontic needs, Dr. Lee will recommend an efficient treatment. The earlier we diagnose and treat orthodontic problems, the more comfortable and affordable treatment will be.
- Guide Growth: With early treatment or close monitoring, Dr. Lee can guide your child’s jaw growth and development. This guidance will prevent serious problems from occurring down the road.
- Plan and Prepare: Dr. Lee can tell you a lot about your child’s potential needs after a simple assessment. Your child will also have the opportunity to get to know our caring team and become comfortable with the way our office works.
“The kids felt comfortable with her. It was a smooth process.”—Tina
When Might My Child Need Early Treatment?
Early treatment can help your child by:
- Creating space in the smile for crowded teeth to erupt properly.
- Promoting facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth.
- Reducing risk of trauma to protruding teeth.
- Protecting enough space for adult teeth to erupt properly.
- Reducing possibility for necessary tooth extractions.
- Reducing future orthodontic treatment time.
All children should be seen by their orthodontist by age 7, but some of the indications that your child may need orthodontic attention include:
- Difficulty chewing or biting comfortably.
- Mouth breathing.
- Finger, thumb, or pacifier sucking.
- Crowded or blocked teeth.
- Late or early loss of baby teeth.
- Popping and clicking sounds in the jaw.
- Crossbite, overbite, underbite, or open bite.
For her younger orthodontic patients, Dr. Lee has a two-phase treatment plan. Two-phase treatment works better as an early orthodontic treatment because the two phases work together to address tougher issues.
The first phase is meant to address skeletal and dental imbalances in children while they still have mixed baby and adult teeth. This is followed by a second treatment after all the adult teeth have erupted to produce optimal looks and function for the whole mouth.
Dr. Lee recommends the two-phase orthodontic treatment when it will maximize a patient’s ability to attain an ideal smile. Two-phase treatment is the best way for some patients to straighten their teeth, improve their bite, and enhance their total facial features.
Phases of Orthodontic Treatment
The phases of this plan are meant to help children get better results with their orthodontic treatment than the traditional treatment plan.
Phase One: Laying the Foundation for a Beautiful Smile
During Phase One, our team will influence the jaw to develop properly, and we will promote the correct eruption of adult teeth.
Two-phase treatment can help children avoid:
- Malocclusion (bad bite).
- Bite discomfort or difficulty chewing.
- Speech impediments.
- TMJ pain.
- Tooth extraction.
- Surgical treatments.
“Dr. Lee is very personable… She has a very caring demeanor.”—Rick
A resting period is necessary in the two-phase treatment process. During this resting period, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt without interference. A successful first phase treatment will ensure that the new teeth erupt properly and with plenty of space.
Phase Two: Perfect Your Smile
Everybody wants a healthy and attractive smile. During the second phase, Dr. Lee will make sure each tooth is in its ideal location in the mouth. Our team will establish harmony between the lips, jaw, tongue, and teeth. This will guarantee a functional and confident smile for years to come!
What If I Forego Two-Phase Treatment?
If Dr. Lee advises that you take advantage of two-phase treatment, delaying or foregoing orthodontics may result in more invasive treatments later on. In many cases, receiving early treatment is more effective, comfortable, and affordable than putting it off.
How Long Does It Take To Straighten Teeth?
Learn More About Two-Phase Braces for Kids
All patients should come into our office for an orthodontic analysis around the age of 7. We can help every patient determine if early treatment may be advantageous for their unique smile. To learn more about two-phase treatment, please contact us at Burlingame Smile Studio!
Virtual Orthodontic Monitoring
We want to help your orthodontic treatment go as smoothly as possible for your children—that’s why we offer virtual orthodontic monitoring, so you can do regular checkups through your phone!
We use a system called Dental Monitoring that can help us analyze your child’s orthodontic progress through a simple selfie. This allows us to make sure your child’s teeth are moving the correct way and to check for any signs of needed adjustment without you having to come into the office so frequently.
To learn more about this amazing home monitoring system, click here.
Contact Burlingame Children’s Orthodontist Dr. April Lee Today!
We hope to give your child a worry-free orthodontic experience and help them achieve their healthiest smiles. You can protect your child’s teeth and gums with a visit to Burlingame Smile Studio.
Our staff will always treat you and your loved ones with respect and compassion. For more information about early orthodontic treatment or to schedule a visit, simply call, text, or email our office today!