Early Orthodontic Treatment | Invisalign® First Treatment for Children | Harris Orthodontics
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Early orthodontic treatment

The Australian Society of Orthodontics recommends that children visit an orthodontist for the first time at the age of seven. If orthodontic issues are discovered while your child’s teeth are still developing, it could help reduce the overall length and cost of future treatment.

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Your first consultation is with Dr. Debora Harris. She can help determine if your child could benefit from Phase-One treatment, but there is no obligation to proceed with it.

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How do I know if my child should see an orthodontist?

There are some early signs that your child might benefit from orthodontic treatment. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Early (or late) loss of their baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Thumb sucking after the age of five
  • Speech problems
  • Protruding teeth
  • Misalignment of teeth
  • Crowded teeth

If you have noticed any of these signs in your child, you can bring them in for an orthodontic assessment to see how early treatment could help them. Even if your child is not presenting the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult with a Specialist Orthodontist when they are about seven or eight years old. An orthodontist can ensure that their teeth and jaw are developing naturally. Although orthodontic treatment might not be necessary, it’s important for their bite to be examined so that we can anticipate and correct problems before they occur.

Orthodontic treatment for children

Why is seven the optimal age?

By the age of seven, most children have their first adult molars and their back bite has been established. This makes it an optimal time for an orthodontist to assess the spatial relationship of all your child’s teeth. They may be able to catch problems like overbites, open bites, crowding or gummy smiles early on. When detected early, misalignments can be corrected with a small amount of effort. We call this early treatment stage “Phase-One” treatment.

At age seven, your child’s teeth are still developing. We can create room for the incoming teeth, influence the shape of the jaw, and help reduce the need for tooth extractions later in life. Even if intervention isn’t needed at this early stage, we can monitor the growth of your child’s teeth and jaw carefully and begin treatment at a time everyone decides is best.

Orthodontic treatment for children

How and why will you shape my child’s smile?

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for aesthetic reasons. Ensuring your child has proper bite alignment can help prevent gum infections and tooth decay that result from difficulty brushing and flossing properly. It can also protect your child from chipped and uneven teeth and even speech impediments. Booking an appointment with a Specialist Orthodontist can help catch misalignments early on before problems such as these occur.

There are multiple ways we can help influence the alignment of your child’s bite. We can use plates, similar to retainers, to encourage (or discourage) the growth of their jaws through a process known as “growth modification.” This can improve your child’s bite, as well as their overall facial symmetry. While your child is still growing, growth modification can help prevent bite issues and poor placement of teeth later in life. Another option for aligning your child’s teeth is the new Invisalign® First treatment made specifically for children ages 7-10.

Orthodontic treatment for children

What is Invisalign® First?

Invisalign® First is an Invisalign® treatment for children in the Phase-One treatment stage. It is designed with their growing jaws in mind. Using smooth, clear plastic trays called aligners, Invisalign® First treatment can gradually shift your child’s teeth and jaw into alignment. This treatment can be used to expand your child’s dental arch and create more room for their current and incoming teeth.

Invisalign® clear aligners are custom-made to fit your child’s smile using digital scans that we will take at their consultation. These scans do away with the need for bite moulds, so it is an easy and comfortable experience for children. What’s more, the aligners are removable to make brushing, flossing, and eating easier for kids. They are also free from metal wires or brackets, so they are comfortable to wear. Using Invisalign® First may reduce the time your child would need to spend in braces later on, or do away with the need for braces altogether!

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign® First, and if this treatment is right for your child, contact us to sign up for a consultation. Our Specialist Orthodontist will be able to answer all your questions and determine if your child is a prime candidate for treatment.

Invisalign aligners are a registered medical device, you should always read and follow the label as well as the instructions of your treating orthodontist.

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Orthodontic treatment for children

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