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Early Orthodontic Treatment & braces for kids

The healthiest and happiest smiles begin at GO Orthodontics!

Our orthodontists, Dr. Gililland, Dr. O’Bannon, Dr. Pongetti or Dr. Gonder, have years of experience caring for young children in early orthodontic treatment.

What is the best age to get braces?

The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that children first see an orthodontist as early as age seven. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results that can benefit your child for a lifetime.

This doesn’t mean that orthodontic treatment will begin around age 7. We only suggest the right treatment at the right time for each patient.

The goal of early orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about ‘straightening teeth’, it’s about establishing a healthy foundation to support a beautiful set of permanent teeth, and setting the stage for a lifetime of confidence

The goal of early treatment is to develop the jaws to allow the most ideal dental development. By supporting proper growth of the jaw and correcting certain bite concerns (such as an underbite, crossbite or crowding) early on, we can eliminate the need for more complex, lengthy forms of treatment (such as surgery) in the future.

How do I know if my child needs treatment?

Here are some common signs and symptoms that indicate a need for early orthodontic treatment or braces for kids:

  • Persistent mouth-breathing
  • Thumbsucking or tongue-thrusting habits
  • Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Crooked, crowded or gapped teeth
  • Jaw pain or facial pain
  • Jaw shifting, popping or clicking
  • Difficult or pain when chewing or biting
  • Inability to chew food properly
  • Digestive issues caused by improper chewing
  • Lack of self esteem or confidence when smiling

Beginning necessary orthodontic treatment at an early age can improve functions, like breathing, sleeping (expansion treatment), and chewing – and help your child develop a strong self esteem.

Click here for a video about problems to watch out for in growing children.

An early assessment of your child’s growth will give you the peace of mind that your child is thriving. Our highly experienced team will provide you and your child with a fun and informative initial exam, and we’ll discuss the best steps to take to support your child in developing a beautiful smile!

two-phase early orthodontic treatment

Often, Early orthodontic treatment is separated into two phases, designed to work alongside the natural development of the teeth and jaw bones.

what is phase 1 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is typically completed between the ages of 7 and 10. The purpose of this treatment is to prepare the mouth for permanent teeth to emerge in a healthy alignment with a sufficient amount of space.

During this phase, your child may be treated with a palatal expander appliance to widen the upper jaw and create enough room for permanent teeth to grow. Phase 1 orthodontic treatment focuses on ensuring healthy jaw bone development to establish a strong foundation for the permanent teeth to be aligned in Phase 2.

what is phase 2 treatment?

This phase generally begins in the early teen years, when all of the permanent teeth have erupted. 

The focus of Phase 2 treatment is to align the teeth and jaws to create a harmonious facial appearance. During this phase, a full treatment of braces or Invisalign is often completed. Both the top and bottom teeth are typically treated in Phase 2.

Every child develops at a different rate, so early orthodontic treatment for your child  may be optimal at an earlier or later stage than average. At your complimentary consultation, we’ll help you determine the right path for your child.

Still have questions about braces for kids?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love hearing from you.
Our team is here to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you or your child’s smile. We’ll help you GO through life smiling with confidence! Take the first step to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted by requesting your complimentary consultation with us in Oxford, Saltillo, Southaven or Corinth (Mississippi) or Collierville near Memphis (Tennessee).
Mother and daughter smiling and laughing