Did you know that orthodontics can be beneficial for patients of all ages, including young children? Most people think of teenagers when they think of braces. While it’s true that we do treat many teenagers, we monitor and treat many younger children at Dietrich Orthodontics! The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an initial screening performed by a Certified Orthodontist at age seven. These early evaluations give Dr. Dietrich an opportunity to identify any potential issues before they have the chance to become more serious, giving children the best chance for a lifetime of healthy, and confident, smiles.
Your child’s smile is one of a kind, and that’s why our preventative approach is built around their unique needs at every stage, meaning, customized care for exceptional results. When you schedule a free consultation for your child in our Canton or Alliance office, we’ll check their dental growth and development and optimal time for orthodontic treatment. Most likely, your child will require monitoring by Dr. Dietrich, at no charge to you, as part of our Kids’ Club to monitor growth. If Dr. Dietrich identifies any potential problems in a child between the ages of 6-9, interceptive orthodontics may be recommended.
What is interceptive orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics are also known as Phase I orthodontics. When Dr. Dietrich identifies an issue with the growth and development of a young child’s teeth or jaw, we use interceptive orthodontics to begin the right treatment at the best time. This proactive approach helps to create space for the proper development and eruption of the permanent teeth. It can also enhance the growth of a child’s jaw, resulting in straighter teeth, better oral health, and a more symmetrical smile.
What are some examples of interceptive orthodontics?
You may be worried that an orthodontic evaluation will lead to immediate treatment for your child. This is a common concern among parents, but we recommend this for only a small percentage of the children we see. Even if Dr. Dietrich does recommend treatment for your child, it doesn’t necessarily mean putting braces on them right away. Many Phase I treatments don’t use any brackets or wires at all! Some of these include:
- removing one or more of the primary teeth to guide the proper placement of the permanent teeth (this would be referred out to your family dentist or an oral surgeon)
- using expanders to widen the upper jaw and correct a cross-bite
- placing space maintainers to save a spot for permanent teeth if a primary tooth has been lost early due to injury or decay
Our expert team follows the normal patterns of dental growth and development in children. Doing so allows us to treat many common problems in a child whose mouth is still developing with relative ease. However, this same treatment often becomes more complex and invasive once their jawbones stop growing around 16-18.
Interceptive orthodontics allows us to achieve lasting results for many of the issues we’ve discussed here. It can also lessen the impact of others. It should be noted that all patients will require a second phase of treatment with braces, or Phase II. This rounds out the whole treatment process and completes the alignment of their teeth.
Watching your child’s smile develop over the years
It’s pretty common knowledge that regular dental visits are an essential tool in keeping your child’s smile healthy. But are you aware that regular orthodontic visits also come with many benefits? Even if no oral issues are detected during your child’s initial evaluation, we recommend follow-up visits with Dr. Dietrich as they grow. This is all complimentary as a part of our Kids’ Club, which include free Growth & Guidance visits with Dr. Dietrich. These visits allow him to:
- monitor the progress of their permanent teeth as they begin to emerge
- monitor the progress of their facial and jaw development
- guide emerging adult teeth into the ideal positions
- detect any hidden dental problems
- reduce the risk of impacted teeth
- reduce the risk of needing tooth extractions in the future
When we tackle these issues with interceptive orthodontics, we can give children the personalized care they need when they need it most. This will provide excellent orthodontic treatment at the optimum time, providing the most desirable result for your child.
Help your child’s smile excel with early intervention from Dietrich Orthodontics
Orthodontics is utilized at its best when performed at the optimum time for your child’s growth. While early treatment isn’t necessary for many children, it can positively impact those who do need it! Tackling your child’s orthodontic issues early on will help prevent the development of more serious problems later on, saving you time and money in the long run.
With our initial evaluations and Growth & Guidance monitoring, interceptive orthodontics can help improve your child’s tooth and jaw alignment. Early treatment can also restore the most optimal tooth and bite function, if needed. Your child will experience more stable results, increased self-confidence, and a beautiful smile! If you have a young child around age 7 who is ready for their first orthodontic evaluation, we’d love to meet you both. Call or text today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Dietrich and take the first step towards a Lifetime of Confident Smiles!