Early Treatments for Kids
At Curtis Orthodontics, our mission is to help each one of our patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts them a lifetime – and sometimes, that process has to start early.
Orthodontics for Kids in Coeur d’Alene, Athol, Hayden, Rathdrum and Liberty Lake, WA.
At Curthis Orthodontics, our dedicated team proudly treat patients of all ages in the Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and surrounding areas, and while many of our patients are teenagers or adults, we often recommend starting with early orthodontic treatment. In some cases, starting orthodontic treatment at an early age offers the best option for achieving a beautiful, lifelong smile.
When is the Best Time for an Orthodontic Evaluation?
Many parents ask us when to first bring their child in for an orthodontic evaluation – and the answer may be earlier than you expect. In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial consultation at age 7. We may or may not recommend starting treatment at this early age, but evaluating early on allows us to spot any current orthodontic problems or issues that may develop into problems later on. From their, we can recommend either starting early orthodontic treatment right away or monitoring dental development until the right time for treatment.
The Advantages of Early Orthodontic Evaluation
So, why is 7 the ideal age? By age 6 or 7, a child’s first adult molars have finished erupting, establishing the back bite. This allows your orthodontist to evaluate tooth relationships in detail, making it possible to identify potential orthodontic problems that need correction. Not all children will need treatment at this early age, but if early treatment is necessary, it greatly improves the overall orthodontic result.
What Are the Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment?
While it isn’t right for all patients, early orthodontic treatment comes with a range of advantages. Treating early allows us to shape the development of the teeth and mouth, letting us make significant alterations to tooth alignment that would be much more difficult in later years. In fact, because of the upper jaw has yet to solidify into a single bone during childhood, we can use a device called a palatal expander to gently widen the upper jaw and make more room for teeth – a process that would require extensive oral surgery in later adolescence or adulthood.
Here are just a few of the benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatment:
- Makes more room for crowded teeth without surgery
- Prevents the need for tooth extraction
- Improves facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Protects protruding front teeth from trauma
- Reduces the overall amount of time a child will spend in braces
How It Works
1. Getting to Know You
We understand that choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision and your first visit to our office is the first step.
Since no two patients are the same, your first visit is aimed at getting an understanding of your oral health and teeth positioning. We will review your medical history and conduct a thorough exam, with X-Rays, to get a comprehensive look at your mouth.
2. Custom Treatment Plan
We create completely customized treatment for each patient to ensure you reach your full smile potential! If you are a good candidate for braces, our team can help you get started with our Same-Day braces program! Not only do we save our patients money, we save you time!
At Curtis Orthodontics, we want to help you get the smile you love with treatment as comfortable and convenient as possible.
3. Your New Smile
At Curtis Orthodontics, we make you our top priority! We create beautiful, confident smiles for all ages by offering advanced orthodontic care that’s designed to deliver the ideal treatment experience and results to ensure you achieve your best smile!
FAQs About Kids
Will my child's teeth straighten as they grow?
Unfortunately, no. Orthodontic issues, such as spacing and malocclusions, tend to worsen with age. It’s important to be examined as early as possible, to ensure these problems are corrected sooner rather than later.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
American Association of Orthodontists recommend you should schedule your child’s first appointment by age 7.
Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth can complement each other. By timing orthodontic treatment to predictable stages of dental development, the orthodontist may be able to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child may require corrective surgery or permanent teeth to be extracted if treated after growth has occurred.
Can I schedule all of my kid’s appointments after school?
We do our best to schedule you for the most convenient times based on your busy schedule, but cannot make any guarantees. However, most appointments are scheduled 4-10 weeks apart, so you or your child will miss minimal work/school time.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
We completely understand your busy schedule and are happy to accommodate. Once you pick up your child, we will review what was accomplished at the conclusion of each appointment and what is expected to be accomplished at the next appointment. We strongly recommend making the follow up appointments prior to leaving our office.
Can my child still play sports?
Of course! We do recommend that you use a mouth guard to protect your mouth during treatment.
Can Orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
If an orthodontic issue is severe enough, then early intervention can occur while the child still has baby teeth. If your child isn’t ready yet, we’ll simply monitor their growth and development, and begin treatment when they’re ready.
What is Phase One (Early) Treatment?
Between the ages 7 and 10, some patients require phase one (early) treatment, which usually lasts about 6-18 months. The goal of early treatment is to address more significant orthodontic issues to make later treatment processes smoother. It also drastically improves the child’s confidence and self-esteem levels.
Will my child need an expander?
You’ll find out if your child will need an expander after your initial consultation.
Will my child need braces if he/she has Phase One Treatment?
It’s best to assume that braces will be needed after phase one treatment, but we’ll monitor your child’s growth and development to ensure the best treatment methods occur next.