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Early Treatment

Parents in Charles County and St. Mary’s County, Maryland, who are interested in early orthodontic treatment for their children, are encouraged to contact Sequence Orthodontics, conveniently located in Waldorf and Leonardtown for more information.

What is Early Treatment Orthodontics?

Early treatment, also known as two-phase, preventative or interceptive treatment, is a specialized orthodontic process that combines straightening of teeth with structural facial corrections. The purpose of early treatment is to achieve healthy function, as well as aesthetic results that will remain stable throughout the patient’s life. Back in the day, oral surgery was performed far more frequently, and orthodontic treatment was longer and more aggressive. By approaching treatment in multiple phases and treating patients at a younger age, future surgery may be avoided while still achieving effective orthodontic results using a more gentle and gradual process.

When is Early Treatment Orthodontics Indicated?

Typically, a child with a serious malocclusion at age seven will more than likely need braces as an adolescent. Early orthodontic treatment is beneficial in children for many reasons. The gum tissue around teeth is affected by how and where the permanent teeth grow. If a child’s canines come in very high due to overcrowding, the gum tissue over those teeth will always be higher than the surrounding teeth, even if grafting is performed. Early expansion to accommodate growth may also help to prevent future surgery, as it will create enough room in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow in correctly. Early treatment may also prevent extractions caused by overcrowding as the permanent teeth grow into place. Expanding the dental arches to create enough space for new teeth helps prevent many of these gum problems. In occasional cases, early treatment may even eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment later in life or reduce the treatment time in adolescents. Early correction of orthodontic problems also provides many psychological benefits by giving a child a beautiful smile that arms them against teasing and name calling, improves their self-esteem and changes the way they see the world.

Is My Child a Good Candidate for Early Orthodontic Treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should have an orthodontic evaluation at age seven. This is to screen for those patients who will require early treatment. Children whose jaws are still developing and growing, and whose permanent teeth have not erupted fully, are ideal candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Typically, early treatment patients are children around age seven and whom the orthodontist has detected problems with tooth and jaw development that could increase if left untreated. When teeth, jaws, and the surrounding soft tissue are still in the development stages of childhood, orthodontic correction is much easier and gentler than if left until the teen years.

What Should I do Next?

If you live in Charles County or St. Mary’s County, Maryland and would like more information about early orthodontic treatment for your child, contact our Waldorf or Leonardtown office to schedule a consultation at Sequence Orthodontics.