At around age seven, your child’s permanent teeth are typically erupting. While some children may get orthodontics earlier or later on, seven is the best age to predict future growth and help prevent gum disease and other problems that could occur over time.
When Does My Child Need Phase One Orthodontics?
If your child has skeletal or muscular issues that could cause serious jaw and teeth issues going forward, your orthodontist may recommend phase one treatment as early as age seven. Phase one treatment occurs while your child still has most of their baby teeth.
Phase one treatment can include either braces or a dental appliance. In this phase, the emphasis is generally on improving jaw bone growth and position. This allows the jaw to support your child’s permanent teeth in the right way as they emerge. It may also help young patients experience better self-esteem.
Generally, phase one treatment is usually reserved for situations where a child’s jaw development will cause serious problems if it’s current trajectory continues.
When Will My Child Start Phase Two Orthodontic Treatment?
The majority of kids who need stage one orthodontic treatment will also need a second phase of treatment later, once they have most or all of their permanent teeth. Stage two orthodontic treatment may start at around age 11 or 12, possibly earlier depending on your child’s unique situation.
The focus of stage two orthodontic treatment is to shift the permanent teeth into their ideal positions. It typically consists of braces, which your child may wear for anywhere from a year to two years. During this time, your child will typically see their orthodontist every six weeks or so for adjustments and check-ups.
Helping Your Child Succeed With Orthodontic Treatment at Any Age
As a parent, you play a key role in making your child’s orthodontic treatment a success. There are a few ways you can help, starting with always bringing your child in for their orthodontic check-ups to keep their plan on track.
Oral hygiene is more important than ever with braces. That’s because it can be easy to miss food or debris particles around the brackets or wires. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques. Make sure they take some extra time with oral hygiene, so they don’t damage or dislodge brackets or wires. You can try to find a way to make brushing teeth fun for your kids, that way, they’ll look forward to doing so.
Eating can be a bit tricky in the early days of wearing braces, so your child may need some extra support in this area. Your child’s dentist will give you a list of foods to stay away from with braces. This usually includes hard, chewy, sticky, crunchy, or sugary snacks. If your child feels frustrated that they can’t eat some of their favorite foods, sometimes there’s another way to work it out. For example, while eating corn on the cob isn’t a great idea with braces, your child can still enjoy corn that’s shaved off the cob. Instead of biting into a whole apple, have your child eat sliced apples instead. With some creativity, your child can still enjoy many of their favorite things.
Reach Out To Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Reach out to the Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team online or by phone now to schedule a consultation and ensure your child’s teeth are growing in properly.