As a general rule, it is usually easier, more efficient, and less expensive to start orthodontic treatment after all of the adult teeth have grown into place. This is usually around 12-13 years of age. However, there are some instances where it is advisable to start treatment while some of the baby teeth are still in place.
This early treatment is often called interceptive, or Phase I orthodontic treatment. Some of the indications for this early treatment are significant crowding of the teeth or a significant problem with the bite (overbites, underbites, openbites or crossbites of the front or back teeth.
One of my goals with treatment is to make sure there is enough room for all the adult teeth to fit without the need for any extractions of the adult teeth. This treatment would probably include expanders for the upper and lower teeth. By doing an appropriate amount of expansion, we are usually able to straighten all the the adult teeth in Phase II without having any extractions done.
I have a more detailed explanation of Phase I/ Phase II treatment on my blog. It includes pictures of bite problems to watch for in your children. It can be found at the following link: kygerorthodontics.com/blog/patienteducation/phase-one-and-phase-two-orthodontic-treatment/.
The exam is always free, so if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth please give us a call at 579-0903.