Has the time come to start thinking of your child’s growing smile? Even if they haven’t lost all of their baby teeth, it’s never too early to start planning for your child’s health in the future! At Bennett Orthodontics, we usually recommend that parents bring their child in for their first assessment around the age of seven. This early timeline gives us more options.
If your child is seven or older, now is a great time to schedule them to see Dr. Bennett! One of the perks that we offer our patients is a free first-visit consultation! That means there are no commitments for your first visit and no cost to you! Once your child has been thoroughly evaluated, you can choose how you want to move forward with their orthodontics journey.
What is the Two-Phase Treatment?
One of the treatment options that we often recommend for younger children is the two-phase treatment. This means that their treatment will take place in two distinct phases as they grow, starting when they are young, and their bones and teeth are growing and shifting. This allows Dr. Bennett to do more to support the healthy growth, function, and appearance of their smiles as they age.
Depending on your child’s unique oral health needs, we may recommend either waiting for later treatments or starting a two-phase treatment sooner. You won’t know until you visit our office for the free consultation appointment that we mentioned earlier! Don’t wait; book an appointment now!
Things to Expect with Phase One
Phase one is an intervention phase where the goal is less about getting perfectly straight teeth and more about preparing the mouth and jaw for tooth development. During this phase, Dr. Bennett will be looking at making plenty of room in the mouth for teeth that are growing in and adjusting the jaw to create better alignment. Here are a few of the common treatments that he might recommend to his patients in phase 1:
Limited braces are braces that are put on only a certain set of teeth rather than the entire mouth. Limited braces address specific problem teeth and will prepare the remaining teeth for better alignment as they grow.
If a child loses a tooth early, either from an accident or tooth decay, it’s really important to keep that space open while waiting for the adult tooth to grow into that space. If the space is not maintained, other teeth may shift to adjust for the missing space and cause more misalignment problems.
Two common growth modification tools are palatal expanders and headgear. Palatal expanders are devices put into the roof of the mouth that widen the upper jaw and help to make space for teeth as they grow in. Palatal expanders can help prevent crossbites and other jaw issues and are all about supporting teeth to grow as naturally aligned as possible.
Headgear is less commonly used these days, but it can still be useful for certain jaw issues. Typically worn only at night, headgear can either hold back the growth of the lower jaw or encourage the development of the upper jaw to treat underbites and overbites.
A habit device is a small device placed in your child’s mouth to discourage developmental habits like tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. These habits are often harmless enough, but for some children, they can impact the growth of their teeth and jaw, so it’s useful to help them naturally break the habit!
Things to Expect with Phase 2
While Phase 1 typically takes place in younger children, ages 6-10, phase 2 will start once your child’s adult teeth have grown in. This phase is all about perfecting the smile that started during phase 1! There are a couple of common treatments for phase 2, though you can always discuss your options with Dr. Bennett to see if there are even more available for your child. The most common treatments are:
Braces have gotten a bad rap over the years as being ‘old school,’ but we think they are still a great option for many families! Whether you opt for metal or ceramic braces, the results speak for themselves, and the technology has greatly improved over the years to be more cost-effective and efficient.
The biggest pro for braces is that because they are fixed, it means that they are on all the time with no chance of being lost or forgotten. The downside of fixed devices is they require some lifestyle adjustments to guarantee their safe and efficient use, meaning care practices and eating habits. Most children adjust quickly to these changes and have a positive experience with their braces!
Clear aligners have become a super popular and cost-effective treatment in the last few years. Aligners come in a series of retainers that your child will wear at all times except when eating, drinking, and brushing their teeth. Each week or two, they will switch to a new aligner that will slowly shift their teeth into a perfectly aligned smile!
The pros of clear aligners are that they are super discreet and nearly invisible to other people! They are also removable, which means they won’t be an inconvenience while chewing and cleaning. However, it is up to each person to be responsible for wearing their retainer consistently, keeping it clean, and not accidentally losing it!
Let Bennett Orthodontics Help You Craft Your Child’s Perfect Smile!
Are you ready to launch your child’s successful orthodontic treatment? Bennett Orthodontics is the perfect place for your child’s smile! We have been supporting families in the Mobile area for many years, and we can’t wait to see another smile transformation. Give us a call soon to schedule a free consultation appointment!