Did you know that orthodontics starts before braces and other straightening methods? Phase One is the step used before the alignment process begins. This helps examine the oral cavity and determine the best treatment plan for the patient. Today, your Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatrics staff is here to tell you what to expect when going through Phase One.
Knowing When To Start
Many parents and patients may not know that the first visit to the orthodontist should be around the age of seven years old. During this appointment, the dentist will do a thorough examination of the teeth and how they are growing. This will include X-rays that will be referred to as the treatment continues.
Seven is a good time to begin this process because their molars should have grown by this time. This allows the dentist to have a good understanding of how their smile will develop. After Phase One treatments are over, your child can begin wearing braces.
What Does Phase One Include
The main concerns in this initial treatment are the growth of the jaw and severe misalignment. If your child’s jaw is not fully developed, we may use retainers to help gently guide the growth. This will help in the future by ensuring that there is enough space for teeth to grow evenly.
Space maintainers may also be used if your young one loses a tooth prematurely. This helps limit the need for removing a tooth later on. In some cases, a permanent tooth could grow in the wrong way and disrupt the others from aligning properly.
Why Proper Alignment Is Important
Many patients have anxiety about needing braces or other dental work to even out their alignment. But there are many advantages to having an even smile. For one thing, it creates an even appearance. This allows you to be confident in your appearance without worrying about crooked teeth. You will also have an easier time speaking and chewing with proper alignment. For people with overly crowded teeth or gaps in their smile, it can be difficult to speak properly due to problems like lisps. Straightening your teeth also allows you to have an easier time chewing food, which can help with digestion.
Properly aligned teeth also make it easier to brush and floss. In the long run, this will help reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. This helps keep your breath fresh and can even decrease your risk of heart problems later.
Start The Process Today
If your child is around the age of seven to nine years old, this is a great time to start early orthodontic treatment. To schedule an appointment please call Shirley Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, at 631-399-1600.