A beautiful smile and good dental health begins early.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. Often times treatment is not yet required at this age, however this crucial exam allows Dr. Riekenbrauk, Dr. Ma & Dr. Hergott to determine if orthodontic treatment will be required and the best time for the patient to be treated. This checkup can also help detect and prevent serious problems from occurring later. We are happy to provide this initial examination at no cost to help inform parents of potential concerns.
Benefits of Early Treatment
About 1 in 5 children may benefit from early treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.
If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Ma, Dr. Hergott & Dr. Riekenbrauk can:
- Guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches
- Gain space for permanent teeth
- Reducing the need for permanent tooth extractions
- Reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
- Correct thumb sucking
- Eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
According to the AAO, untreated malocclusions can lead to:
- Crowded teeth leading to poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Cross bites resulting in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Open bites resulting in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments
- Jaw joint problems
Early treatment can simplify later treatment, after all the permanent teeth erupt by minimizing the need for permanent teeth extraction or jaw surgery
Orthodontic Observation Program
The orthodontic observation program is for patients who are not ready for treatment and have been placed on observation. This program enables us to monitor both the eruptive pattern of the permanent teeth and jaw growth. We normally see the patients on recall every 6-12 months to observe their progress as they grow. There is no fee for this program and it helps the orthodontist determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.
Will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?
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 erupted when early treatment is performed, their final alignment may not have been corrected. Typically, a shortened comprehensive phase of treatment (Phase II – full braces) in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have erupted, completes the correction. However, in some circumstances, further orthodontic treatment may not be indicated.