Early Treatment

From Your Bismarck & Dickinson, ND Orthodontist

At Hollevoet Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest quality in orthodontic care while maintaining a fun, friendly, and relaxed orthodontic environment. Dr. Hollevoet and our expert team of orthodontic specialists have years of experience treating patients of all ages, and we know how to make every visit with us a pleasant experience for everyone. While most of our patients are adolescents and adults, sometimes patients need orthodontic treatment at an earlier age – for those patients, we recommend interceptive treatment.

Interceptive Orthodontics

Orthodontic Problems.One of the most common questions we get from parents is when they should first bring their child in to see us. Along with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask that children first come to see us at age 7 - by this age, the back bite is established, so we can identify any current or developing orthodontic problems. While we may not need to start treatments this early, by evaluating treatment at this age, we can monitor you child's development and determine the ideal time to begin treatment. 

During you child's first visit, we'll perform a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation to determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed such as open bite, overbite, or crowding. We'll then determine if we need to monitor your child's development or begin treatment right away. If treatment is necessary, we'll create a comprehensive plan to help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

When Earlier Treatment Is Better

Treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around age 9-14, when all of the baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones are in place. But there are some conditions that are much easier to treat if they're caught at an early age, when a child's natural growth processes are going full speed ahead.

Crossbites

Crossbite.

One is severe crossbite, a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. To treat this problem, a device called a palatal expander can be used, which gradually and painlessly widens the upper jaw; it's especially effective when the jaw itself hasn't fully developed. If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment — or even oral surgery — might be required to correct the problem.

Teeth Crowding

Crowding.
Another condition that may benefit from early treatment is severe crowding. This occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Either palatal expansion or tooth extraction may be recommended at this point, to help the adult teeth erupt (emerge from below the gums) properly. Even if braces are required later, the treatment time will likely be shorter and less complicated.

Protruding Teeth

Protruding teeth.Early intervention may also be helpful in resolving several other problems. Protruding teeth, especially in front, can be prone to chipping and fractures; they may also lead to problems with a child's self-image. A severe underbite, caused by the lower jaw growing much larger than the upper jaw, can result in serious bite problems. Orthodontic appliances, including braces and headgear, can be successfully used to correct these problems at this stage, when the child's development is in full swing, thereby increasing the chances that surgery can be avoided.

Phase I Treatment

While treatment varies between patients, it usually includes removable or fixed appliances to create more room for overcrowded teeth, preserve space for teeth that have not erupted, or help preserve facial symmetry by manipulating jaw growth. After the Phase I course, we'll begin the resting phase, during which we'll closely watch your child's growth. In general, it's best to assume that your child will need another course of treatment once their permanent teeth finish erupting. We'll go over everything in detail with you and keep a close watch on your child's development to determine the absolute best time to begin Phase II, or adolescent treatment.

Contact Your Dickinson & Bismarck, ND Early Orthodontic Specialists

If you have more questions about your or your child's orthodontic health, we're more than happy to answer them. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Bismarck & Dickinson, ND office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to crafting your child a beautiful, healthy, to last them the rest of their lives!

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