Most people have an idea in their heads about when they’re supposed to get braces—i.e., sometime in their teens. However, as any orthodontist will tell you, this is far from the actual truth of the matter. In reality, people of all ages may benefit from braces in certain circumstances.
Most people are vaguely aware that adults can get braces, but parents are often surprised to learn that young children may occasionally benefit from them as well. So-called “phase 1 orthodontics” may be able to make a massive difference in young children’s self-esteem and long-term oral health.
How do Phase 1 Orthodontics Work?
The braces most people usually think about aren’t placed until all of your permanent teeth come in. You might call these “phase 2 orthodontics.” Phase 1 orthodontics is done for small children who are dealing with serious misalignment of their teeth but haven’t yet lost all of their baby teeth.
This is usually only done for severe misalignment that may potentially disrupt the growth of the primary teeth, or that makes it difficult for the child to use their teeth to the fullest extent.
Could My Child Benefit From Phase 1 Orthodontics?
If your child has slightly crooked teeth or a small gap in their smile, they may not necessarily need phase 1 orthodontics. While it might not hurt, many of these problems are better addressed once they have all of their grown-up teeth.
However, if your child has severe problems with their teeth, it may be worth asking your orthodontist about whether childhood braces could be useful. For example, if they have…
- Malocclusions (Misalignments), especially in the case of teeth that are twisted more than 20 degrees.
- Tooth Crowding
- Thumb Sucking or Tongue Thrusting Habits
- Severe Overbites or Underbites
- Speech Problems
- Asymmetrical Facial Growth
…they may benefit from early orthodontic intervention.
Phase 1 orthodontics can be important for oral health, but it has the equally important role of boosting your child’s self-esteem. Having a crooked smile from a young age can be a serious detriment to your child’s confidence, and by investing in their oral health early on, you can make a large impact in how they feel about themselves in the long run.
About Our Practice
At Allen Orthodontics, we believe that patients of all ages can benefit from a straighter smile. That’s why take the work of orthodontics very seriously, and why we work to make our practice comforting for as many kinds of patients as possible. This has to do with not only the state of our office itself, but also with the attentive and dedicated staff that will ensure that you get the high-quality dental care that you deserve.
If you have any questions about phase 1 orthodontics, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (972) 727-1153.