While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists
recommends visiting the orthodontist around age 7.
Get It Straight can determine if orthodontic treatment is required and the best age for the patient to begin
treatment, if necessary.
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, retain space for permanent
teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. With early treatment our orthodontists can
guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth.In other words, early treatment can simplify later
treatment, after permanent teeth come in.
Your First Visit & Observation are FREE
Here are some things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathingFinger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
The Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program
Our orthodontists develop a treatment plan based on each child's needs. If our orthodontists decide the patient
is not ready for treatment, he or she is placed in our Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program. The no-fee
Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program is for patients who are not yet ready to start treatment, but are being
observed in our office every eight to 12 months. We observe their progress as they grow, making sure baby teeth are
being lost correctly and permanent teeth are erupting in correct position. In some cases, early removal of baby
teeth can eliminate poor permanent teeth patterns and reduce the treatment time required for braces. We will notify
your general dentist of recommendations made during your Growth and Guidance visits. The program helps us build a
relationship with your child and determine the optimum time to begin treatment to achieve the best possible result.
Does early treatment prevent the need for braces when permanent teeth come in?
Typically, no. Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from
developing and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet come in when early
treatment is performed, the final alignment of teeth is not yet complete. Typically, a shorter phase of treatment in
the teen years, after all permanent teeth have come in, completes the correction. In some circumstances, braces
after early treatment may not be indicated.
Frequently Asked Questions about Early Treatment
Absolutely. You should continue to see your general dentist for cleanings and
regular dental check-ups at least once every six months as normal.
Upon completion of orthodontic treatment, retainers will be made to maintain your
new beautiful smile. Retainers are to be worn every night (10-12 hours per night) for approximately one
year. Even after the teeth become stable, it is important to continue to wear your retainers at least a
few nights a week, indefinitely. This is your insurance policy that you will maintain your new smile for
We use a special device to break the bond to the plastic adhesive on the back of the
bracket. The brackets remain attached to the wire and everything is removed in a few minutes with little
discomfort. If any bonding material remains on the tooth, it is smoothed off with a polishing disk. When
braces are removed, your teeth feel very smooth and strange. It's been a long time since you felt
them without hardware attached.
The placement of bands and brackets, or Invisalign
, on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are
placed and connected with the archwires, or your Invisalign aligners are inserted, your teeth begin to
gradually move. You may feel some discomfort for one to four days. With the Damon Braces System,
discomfort is significantly reduced or eliminated. Tylenol or Advil works well to alleviate any
discomfort you may have. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces once
they are initially placed on your teeth. Your orthodontic hygienist will provide you with all of the
information necessary to make this transition as easy as comfortable possible.
By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces or
Invisalign aligners slowly move teeth to a corrected position. Orthodontic appliances or braces are made
of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or brackets bonded to the teeth. Patients can opt
for brackets that are clear or metallic colored and select the color of the ties that hold the wire into
the brackets (however ties are no longer necessary). Today's wires are less noticeable, and the
latest titanium heat reactive wires andDamon braces
teeth faster, with less discomfort and fewer appointments. Patients are normally seen for adjustments
every 10-12 weeks, which helps a lot with busy school and work schedules.
Phase I (early interceptive) is limited orthodontic treatment occurring before all
permanent teeth erupt. This treatment, which can include a palatal expander or partial braces, is
sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth and to correct crossbites, overbites,
underbites or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment involves the application of full braces once all
permanent teeth have erupted, typically between the ages of eleven and thirteen. Females' permanent
teeth normally come in one year earlier than males' permanent teeth.
Treatment periods typically range from one to two years, depending on age, growth of
the patient's mouth and face, severity of the situation and patient cooperation. Patients will
respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may change from the
original estimate. Wearing rubber bands as directed
oral hygiene, following the recommended diet to avoid emergencies and keeping scheduled appointments are
important factors in completing treatment on time.
During the initial appointment, which takes approximately one hour, the objective is
to determine if orthodontic treatment is recommended and provide an individualized plan in a friendly,
caring and enjoyable atmosphere. The Get It Straight treatment coordinator will review the orthodontic
treatment plan prescribed by the orthodontist, discuss financial arrangements, and answer questions
regarding insurance, appointments and treatment concerns. Although we prefer to evaluate children by age
seven, many children are not ready to begin treatment until more permanent teeth come in. After their
new patient exam, children who are too young to begin treatment are placed in our Recall Program. We
normally see recall patients every eight to 12 months to observe progress as they grow. This enables us
to determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.
There is no fee for this program.
To remedy crowded and crooked teeth that are difficult to clean and can lead to
tooth decay, gum disease and/or tooth loss To reduce or eliminate abnormal tooth wear or tooth loss To
improve poor chewing habits, which cause excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the
teeth. TMJ dysfunction of the jaw joints may result and cause headaches, neck problems and joint pain.
Left untreated, most orthodontic problems become worse. Orthodontics is usually less expensive than the
additional dental care required to address more serious problems that may develop in later years. A
great smile is vital to self-confidence and can improve your general attitude about life.
Most orthodontic issues are inherited and cannot be prevented, but some are due to
habits or medical and dental problems. Inherited problems involve the jaws, teeth and face. Crowding of
teeth, spacing, extra or missing teeth and/or upper and lower jaw growth abnormalities are some examples
of orthodontic problems. Non-inherited issues include finger habits, enlarged tonsils and adenoids,
allergies, asthma, premature loss of baby and/or permanent teeth, and poor dental care. Regardless of
cause, these factors affect the position of teeth as they erupt and the jaw develops throughout the
An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental
and facial irregularities. An orthodontist is a dentist, but only six percent of dentists are
orthodontists. An orthodontist must first attend college and then complete a four-year dental graduate
program accredited by the American Dental Association. In addition, he or she must then successfully
complete an additional two to three-year orthodontic residency program.
Each orthodontic situation determines its best treatment engagement. However, the
American Association of Orthodontics recommends children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age
seven.Sometimes it is recommended earlier if either a parent or the family dentist notes the problem.
Developmental problems relating to facial growth or eruption of teeth can often be improved or
corrected, if diagnosed early. Orthodontic treatment, for any age, is possible as long as there is
healthy bone, teeth and gum tissue.
The following signs may indicate that you or your child would benefit from a Get It
Straight evaluation: Thumb or finger sucking Overlapping or crowding of permanent teeth Broken or
missing teeth Difficulty chewing food Mouth breathing due to allergies, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
Jaw joints which click, pop or are sore Developing underbite, overbite, crossbite or abnormal bite
development Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively Spaces between the teeth Lower jaw shifts from one
side to the other when biting together