Dr. Ted will refer your child to the orthodontist at the appropriate stage of their development. This varies with each individual and can vary within the same family.
We are extremely selective regarding the orthodontists that we refer to. All are highly experienced and work well with kids.
We will be communicating with your orthodontist throughout your child’s treatment. In addition, Dr. Ted will be observing the orthodontic progress at each check-up.
For children with mild crowding of the teeth, braces usually begin when all of the baby teeth have fallen out; some time around twelve years old. Braces generally are present for 18-24 months.
For children with very crowded mouths and/or narrow shaped dental arches (the bone that the teeth rest on) treatment may be divided into two parts (phase I and phase II).
Phase I Treatment
The philosophy is to use growth to your child’s advantage. Instead of waiting for a more involved crowding and/or bite issue complication at 12 years old, phase I intervenes much earlier. Treatment is not doubled; it is just split into two phases. This allows the orthodontist to guide your child’s facial growth in the ideal direction.
Around 8 years old, the upper and lower bony arches are orthodontically aligned. The teeth just go along for the ride. This is usually accomplished with a palatal expander appliance that is cemented to the upper teeth. Once the arch is properly shaped, limited braces are placed to align the top front teeth. Phase I takes about nine months and then the orthodontics is removed.
Phase II Treatment
Once all of the baby teeth have fallen out and most of the permanent teeth are present, full braces are placed. Essentially the teeth are being aligned during phase II, with the bony foundation having been properly positioned in phase I.
Phase II usually takes 12-14 months for completion. Retainers will then be given to your child and worn for several years.