March 22, 2021
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. You know their little bumps and bruises as well as their little victories. While you enjoy the present, you also imagine what they’ll be like when they’re older. As a concerned parent, you want to be ready to face their needs and provide for them. As your little one looks up at you and smiles, you wonder whether they will need braces.
Well, here’s another thought to keep in mind: how soon will your child need braces? Phase 1 orthodontic treatment begins before all of the permanent teeth have erupted, but it can have a significant impact on their smile. Read on to learn the signs indicating that Phase 1 orthodontics may be right for your child.
Your Child Sucks Their Thumb
When your little one is upset or is settling down for the night, they may suck their thumb or take a pacifier to soothe themselves. Early on in life, this is fine. However, if they continue doing it beyond age three, this little habit can have a negative impact on their oral development, specifically on their bite and teeth alignment. In other words, if your child hasn’t stopped sucking their thumb or taking a pacifier, they may need Phase 1 orthodontics.
Your Child Has a Misaligned Bite
Do your child’s upper teeth match up properly with and touch the lower teeth when they close their mouth? A misaligned bite can make chewing difficult, wear down or damage certain teeth much faster than others, and even lead to consistent jaw, head, or neck pain. Whether your child has an open bite, cross bite, overbite, or underbite, Phase 1 orthodontics can start the treatment process to help your child be better able to eat their food. In fact, it can provide these changes much faster while your child is young than if you wait until they’re older.
Your Orthodontist Says Phase 1 Treatment Is Necessary
Perhaps the best way to know that your child is a good candidate for Phase 1 orthodontics is to take them to see an orthodontist when they turn seven years old. If your child still has mostly baby teeth, as many seven-year-olds do, you may think it’s too early to take them to see an orthodontist. But did you know that the sooner you address problems, the faster and easier it is to treat them? Making changes to their teeth’s alignment requires more intensive treatment after they’ve reached skeletal maturity. This specialist can identify and treat issues while your child is still developing, shortening total treatment time.
If your child needs to begin Phase 1 orthodontics, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re doing what’s best in the long run. That way, you can keep enjoying their smile for many years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Patricia Simon has more than 25 years of experience in orthodontics. After completing her orthodontic residency at Boston University, she underwent a Fellowship in Craniofacial and Dentofacial Abnormalities at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where she continues to serve as a faculty member working with oral surgery residents. Although she is able to address major alignment issues later in life, she recommends preventing them in the first place with Phase 1 orthodontics. If you would like to schedule an appointment with her, you can contact Lakewood Orthodontics through the website.
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