Dr. Coulter follows the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that children visit an orthodontist at the first sign of an orthodontic problem, and no later than age 7. By then, a child has enough permanent teeth to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing. The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.
Some orthodontic conditions that develop at a young age can have long-term, permanent effects if not treated. Dr. Coulter will perform a complimentary exam and discuss with you specifically what your child needs. In most situations, this will simply be to continue to monitor the development of the patient’s teeth.
Early treatment isn’t always necessary. However, interceptive treatment or phase I treatment sometimes allows Dr. Coulter to achieve results using methods that are less invasive when employed as a child is growing. Early treatment, or phase I is typically initiated around age 8 or 9, depending on the need. Once the face and jaws are fully formed, additional treatment may be necessary, usually around age 11 or 12.
Examples of orthodontic concerns that are sometimes corrected with early treatment include: severe crowding, habits, open bite, deep bite, crossbite, large “overbite,” underbite, narrow jaws, and severely protruded front teeth.
The easiest way to find out what your child needs is to schedule a complimentary new patient exam with Dr. Coulter! Call us today to reserve your appointment!