It is best for children to see an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is noticed by parents, family dentist or child's physician. The first permanent molars and incisors usually have erupted at this age and we can evaluate crowding, crossbites and many other potential problems. A timely orthodontic examination can determine if treatment is necessary and the optimal time to be treated.
Early interceptive treatment can:
- Guide or modify facial growth
- Prevent crowding of permanent teeth
- Correct skeletal problems (crossbites, overbites, underbites)
- Control and eliminate harmful oral habits
- Reduce the length of comprehensive treatment or even eliminate later treatment all together
Who would benefit from early treatment
- Children 7 to 9 years old with severe crowding
- Narrowed upper jaw with or without cross bite
- Open bite cases involving habits such as thumb sucking, or forward tongue posture (tongue thrust), or mouth breathing
- Class II cases with large overjet (overbite) and protrusion of the upper front teeth
- Class III cases involving over growth of the lower jaw or underdevelopment of the upper jaw
- By addressing these orthodontic problems, early treatment can help prevent the need for permanent tooth extractions, surgery and more serious complications.
- After any early interceptive care is completed, the teeth are in a "resting period" or maintenance phase. By observation visits approximately two to three times per year, we can closely monitor growth and permanent tooth eruption. We will keep parents informed of future treatment recommendations if they are necessary.
- Most children do not require early treatment but following an initial, complimentary exam, Dr. Kouvaris may want to observe their growth and eruption of their permanent
teeth periodically and determine the optimal time of treatment if it is deemed necessary.