Early Treatment

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The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that young children have their first orthodontic evaluation around age 7. That’s one of the reasons we offer a complimentary initial exam. It’s a great way to find out if your child has biological, functional or space issues with their teeth and jaw so that their treatment plan can be the least invasive. Dr. Sarver usually doesn’t recommend treatment until the child has all of his or her adult teeth (around age 12), but in some instances, early treatment can have a positive impact. Even kids who aren’t ready for treatment will receive an annual appointment to check their growth and make sure that, if treatment is needed, they’ll get started at the optimal time.

If you’ve been told your child should start treatment before they have all of their adult teeth, be sure to find out what Dr. Sarver would do before you make a decision. Some orthodontists use two-phases or treatment as a way to “capture” new patients at an early age, but Dr. Sarver only recommends this when there is a clear indication that it is the best approach. For younger patients who have clear indications for treatment, this treatment presents the opportunity to:

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
  • Harmonize width of the dental arches.
  • Improve tooth eruption patterns.
  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
  • Correct harmful oral habits.
  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem.
  • Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later orthodontics.
  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
  • Improve some speech problems.
  • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.