When Should my Child See the Orthodontist? by admn


The American Association of Orthodontists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children have an initial orthodontic evaluation (not necessarily treatment) by an orthodontic specialist by the age of seven. Although some children may need early intervention, most children are placed on a recall system, meaning that we will keep track of your child for re-evaluation. This enables the orthodontist to select the optimal window of opportunity to help a growing and changing child. 

Contrary to 20-30 years ago when children saw an orthodontist for the first time after all their baby teeth had fallen out at about age 12, today’s standard of care can involve two phases of treatment. This two phase treatment plan does not double the treatment, but rather divides it. 

Phase I Treatment: usually done when a child still has many baby teeth, typically 8-10 years of age, and usually lasts about one year. There are corrections that are easily achieved and possible at this early age, but may be difficult or impossible later on. For instance, an expansion of the palate to alleviate crowding and/or bite irregularities can be done easily at an early age, often very simply with just an expander, whereas an older child may require surgery to attain the same result. At the end of active Phase I Treatment, retainers are usually implemented to maintain the achieved results.

Phase II Treatment: usually occurs when a child has lost all of their baby teeth. At this time more adult teeth have erupted and braces are needed to work on all of the teeth and to complete treatment. This involves full braces on both the top and bottom teeth.  Wisdom teeth are also assessed at this time.

Also contrary to 20-30 years ago when extractions of four permanent teeth were almost the norm with braces, two phase treatment has made it possible to avoid extractions in most cases. With two phase treatment, the percentage of patients needing extractions has drastically decreased with patients achieving better overall results.

At Fusion Dental, we offer complimentary orthodontic consultations. During this visit, you can expect a thorough examination of your child, an assessment of whether treatment is necessary, and when the best time would be to start. This is a free information session for you. Furthermore, we will discuss different treatment options that may be available, and you will have the opportunity to ask the orthodontist any questions. You will also meet with the financial/insurance coordinator to discuss financing, and we will work with you to accommodate your particular situation and needs. 

At Fusion Dental, we don’t want anything to stand in the way of your child’s beautiful and healthy smile!