Early orthodontic treatment shapes your child’s smile throughout their lives. Also called Phase 1 treatment, early treatment corrects bite issues in kids aged between 7 and 10 who have both baby and adult teeth. At this point, the orthodontist can assess the child’s mouth for subtle tooth and jaw problems.
Advantages of Early Orthodontic Correction
Early treatment reduces future orthodontic costs by addressing problems at the developmental stage. Phase 1 treatment reduces numerous complications, for example, tooth decay. Your child can clean hard-to-reach spots in their mouth easier when their teeth are straight.
Early treatment also prevents teeth grinding that arises from unaligned jaws. Teeth grinding might be causing your child to experience headaches or neck pain. Additionally, Phase 1 treatment aids speaking. Crooked teeth disrupt your mouth’s harmony and affect how words form.
Early orthodontics can also help prevent thumb-sucking. Although this habit is a common reflex for toddlers, vigorous thumb-sucking invites bacterial infections and misaligns your child’s teeth and jaw. Early treatment may help solve your child’s eating problems by straightening their teeth and making it easier to chew food. And don’t forget the confidence boost that follows. Your child will be more confident about their appearance when their teeth are straight.
Some problems you can address with early treatment include:
- Open bite
- Deep bite
Your orthodontist can recommend various treatments depending on your child’s tooth size, jaw imbalances, and extent of misalignment. Here are some Phase 1 treatments to expect.
This clear aligner treatment is perfect for slight and moderate misalignment. The trays gradually push your child’s teeth into proper alignment when they wear them around 20 hours daily. Invisalign means more freedom for your child because they don’t have to worry about food restrictions or learning to brush around braces or appliances.
The trays are clear, which make them less noticeable. Invisalign is also more comfortable since it doesn’t have brackets and wires that can irritate the mouth.
Another reason why Invisalign suits your child is its low maintenance. Cleaning braces is more complicated since you have to reach the spaces between the teeth and brackets. But when your child has Invisalign, they just have to remove the trays and wash them before brushing their teeth normally.
Other Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
Other treatment options include:
- Partial braces: While most kids don’t require a full set of braces until they have all of their adult teeth, some benefit from a partial set of braces on either the upper or lower teeth. This option can be used to adjust front teeth that are susceptible to injury because they stick out too far, or to help align the jaws.
- Palatal expander: Crooked or misaligned teeth are often caused by a child’s jaw being too narrow. A palatal expander gradually widens the jaw to allow more room for the adult teeth to erupt.
Do you have any questions about Invisalign First or other Phase 1 treatments? Get in touch with us to learn more about how early intervention can give your child a confident smile.