Early Orthodontics for Children
At Etobicoke Orthodontics & Oral Surgery, our orthodontist provides orthodontic treatment for children as young as 7. We welcome you to bring your child in for early consultation and to discuss treatment options.
Children's Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment for children is also referred to as 'Phase I treatment' or 'early intervention'.
Depending on the orthodontic issue in question, the child's stage of development, and a variety of other factors, treatment can begin as early as age 7.
While this may seem early, the fact is that at this stage of development, certain orthodontic issues may be easier to address than they would be later on, as children's teeth and jaw are still growing.
During an initial consultation, our orthodontist Dr. Nardone can identify any orthodontic issues developing in your child, and develop a customized treatment plan.
The Case for Early Intervention
At Etobicoke Orthodontics & Oral Surgery, we offer early intervention and less invasive treatments for children designed to prevent serious orthodontic issues later in their development.
- Why should early treatment be a priority?
Children's skeletal structures are malleable, and continuously adjust as they grow. This makes it possible to change the course of their jaw development, which can sometimes help prevent the need for surgery later in life.
Helping children correct bad habits or oral health issues is also easier when they are young. A few of the causes of orthodontic problems that develop later in life, such as mouth breathing, thumb-sucking and dental decay, can be treated early to prevent problems from worsening.
Children between the ages of 8 and 11 are also often much more cooperative than children of 12 to 14, so it can help get treatment out of the way before the more difficult years.
In addition, with Phase I Treatment, they may need to wear fixed braces on their adult teeth for less time overall than if they were to wait.
- How can less invasive treatments help?
When teeth crowding is addressed early in a child's development, it can often help eliminate the need for measures such as tooth extractions later in your child's development. These extractions typically occur in the late teens or early twenties and can sometimes lead to further dental issues.
- What's involved in an early treatment plan?
Phase I Treatment: This phase may last up to 9 months. During this time, your child will wear retainers or removable braces (functional appliances) until their permanent adult teeth come in later in their life.
These appliances can reposition the lower jaw forward, improve the child’s profile and correct the bite problem.
Treatment takes place while your child still has baby teeth present. After the permanent teeth have come in, we can determine if Phase II Treatment is needed.
Phase II Treatment: Orthodontics is usually the second phase of treatment, following the use of functional appliances. Most children require a second phase of treatment, but Phase II treatment is considerably shorter and less invasive if your child benefits from early Phase I treatment.
To help make the wearing of braces more fun, patients have a choice of at least 40 different coloured elastics.
This phase of treatment usually lasts between 12-24 months depending on the amount of tooth movement necessary to align the teeth and establish a proper bite.
It is important to remember that treatment time is estimated. Specific treatment goals are established and treatment will usually continue until these goals have been achieved.