Phase 1/Early Intervention
Timing is everything – even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. “Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed around age 7. At this age, there are enough permanent teeth for an Orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws.
While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.
Teenage braces, as the name implies, are usually applied between the ages of 12-16. Sometimes as a follow up to Phase 1. During these years most permanent teeth are in place making it easy for an orthodontist to diagnose any problems with bite, crowding, spacing, and alignment. At this age, our primary goal is to address the foremost concerns of the patient.
Age is not a consideration when it comes to Orthodontic treatment, whether you’re 8 or 80, it’s the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone. Adults have denser bone tissue than children, so treatment may take a little longer, but age does not keep teeth from moving.
Adults can have complicated cases, though, for a variety of reasons. They may have fillings, missing teeth, misshapen or worn teeth, or other dental disease. These are conditions well within your orthodontist’s realm of treatment experience. This is just one reason it’s so important to make sure you are being treated by orthodontist.