Dr. Walt and the team at Walt Orthodontics recommend that a child receive their first orthodontic screening at age 7 years old. This is generally the age when the first permanent teeth are starting to grow into the mouth. The notion of early screening is a view also shared by the Canadian & American Association of Orthodontists, and the inspiration behind our fun, new 7 & Up Club for our younger patients. Early screening by an orthodontist provides the opportunity to recognize potential problems and correct them before they become more serious.
Interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result. Because a young child’s permanent teeth have not finished growing into the mouth, we are able to comprehensively evaluate the tooth relationships and jaw positions, and address any impending problems at the earliest stage possible.
Early orthodontic treatment will vary between patients, but can range from removable to fixed appliances that may help with crowding, space maintenance and directing jaw growth. Early treatment can also help reduce the overall treatment time in braces and sometimes eliminate the possibility of tooth extractions which may have otherwise been necessary without early intervention.
What About 2 Phase Treatment?
Some orthodontic offices that also prescribe general dental services have a track record of prescribing two phase treatment plans as a go to method for treating a large portion of their patient base. We often receive second opinion consultations where patients have come from those types of practices and have been seen by doctors who have favoured this approach on a regular basis. Read our article on 2 Phase Treatment here to learn more about our position on this. You can also visit our section “Advice for children” which organizes articles centrally to the needs of children and braces. To be clear, a Two phase treatment plan is a viable modality of treatment however not in EVERY SINGLE CASE.
Remember, the needs of patients are unique and each evaluation should culminate in a distinctive treatment plan. This is what we do at our Orthodontic practice.
Call Walt Orthodontics today to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Walt and to learn more about our awesome 7 & Up Club!