The natural development of a child’s mouth isn’t necessarily written in stone. Orthodontics can be used to rewrite the blueprint of a child’s mouth, especially if the dental science is applied at an early age. Our La Mirada pedodontist ay Children’s Dental Group uses a two-phase approach to correcting malocclusions in children that offers advantages over the traditional one time approach.
The two-phase treatment used by our La Mirada pedodontist begins at an earlier age than the traditional one-shot approach. Our doctor recommends that all children should have their mouth and bite evaluated by a pedodontist by age seven. If orthodontic treatment is needed our practice will begin the first phase of the treatment by age of 8 or 9 instead of age 11-12 in traditional orthodontic treatment. The aim of this first phase, called interceptive orthodontics, is to help the jaw develop to accommodate all the permanent teeth and improve the bite. Often young children show signs of bite problems, such as an upper jaw growing too much or too little. Our doctors will plan the treatment process and discuss all details of your child’s treatment with you. During this phase the growth pattern of the jaw will be adjusted to allow it to have sufficient room for the full complement of permanent teeth. Appliances may be used to help accomplish this. This will usually prevent or lessen the need for extracting teeth at a latter age or even jaw surgery, which can be the consequence of starting orthodontic intervention at a later age.
After phase I has been completed the child will go through a resting period in which no further treatments are given and all the permanent teeth are allowed to erupt normally. Our La Mirada pedodontist will monitor this resting phase closely. Phase II usually involves the use of upper and lower braces and possibly other appliances. The use of these appliances is generally for a shorter period of time because of the work done in phase I. Please get your child evaluated at an early age when orthodontics can help save tooth extractions and more invasive treatments later.