Early Orthodontic Treatment

child with bracesMany of the problems we can have with our teeth can be corrected rather easily when diagnosed early in life by utilizing growth that takes place in young children.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children visit an Orthodontist by age 7 for their first orthodontic screening.  Dr. Patel performs a thorough evaluation of your child’s teeth, bone and jaw structure.  We look for early signs of possible problems such as over and under bites, future crowding, blocked out teeth and more.  Our doctors will determine if braces will be necessary and recommend a custom treatment plan for your specific case. We often place children on a 6 monthly recall schedule for evaluation and monitoring of eruption of permanent teeth until comprehensive orthodontic treatment is necessary.

Early orthodontic treatment is typically carried out in two phases.  Phase One usually starts between ages eight and ten.  The goal of this phase is to guide jaw development, improve tooth eruption, and correct particular bite issues such as cross-bites in the front or back. We will also consider Phase I treatment for those children/parents seeking alignment for aesthetic concerns.  Phase Two often begins between ages eleven and thirteen depending on the eruption of permanent teeth in your child’s mouth.

Indications for early orthodontic treatment:

•         Habitual mouth breathing
•         Early crowding of front teeth
•         Prolonged thumb sucking
•         Baby teeth loss not following the typical “schedule”
•         Jaw shifting with mouth opening or closure
•         Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing
•         Lisping or other speech impediments
•         Protruding teeth or top and bottom teeth not meeting naturally

Orthodontic treatment for young children varies between patients. Depending on the specific case, it may include fixed or removable appliances.

Benefits of early orthodontic treatment:

•         Correct oral habits
•         Provide space to alleviate crowding
•         Positively influencing jaw development
•         Improve width of dental arches
•         Enhance esthetics and self-esteem
•         Promote proper eruption patterns
•         Minimize risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
•         Shorten comprehensive orthodontic treatment time
•         Reduce the chance of blocked out/impacted permanent teeth
•         Reduce the need to remove future permanent teeth

We proudly serve patients throughout Greater Jacksonville including: Northside, Atlantic Beach, Westside, Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Arlington, and Southside.  Call our office today to schedule your child’s initial orthodontic treatment consultation. Simply fill out the short form on the right or call our office at 904-241-2471


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