Though many orthodontic problems can wait to be corrected after all the baby teeth have fallen out, there are some orthodontic problems that are best corrected when the patient is younger. The goal of early treatment (often referred to as Phase 1 treatment) is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems. It is estimated that 80% of our facial growth is completed by 8 years of age. Skeletal (jaw) problems, functional problems and significant dental problems are best treated at an early age (7-9 years) while growth is plentiful.
Here are some pictures of actual Erik Swanson Orthodontics patients who have successfully undergone early interventional orthodontic treatment.
Here is a great example of capturing early growth potential to widen the jaws to create more space for all of the future adult teeth. If treatment had not been done, this patient would most likely have been a candidate for adult tooth removal to resolve the severity of crowding present. Our patient successfully completed his care in 12 months.
Here is another great example of early orthodontic treatment for growth modification. This patient suffered from obstructive sleep apnea with a reduced ability to be able to breathe properly. Mom noticed her son did not sleep well, was irritable, and complained of inability to concentrate at school. The great news for the family is that we specialize in Airway Focused orthodontics and early interventional orthodontic care. We proposed a game plan that would address BOTH his airway needs as well as dental. He successfully completed his care in 12 months. Mom reports that he no longer snores, happier overall, and his grades have improved as well! AMAZING RESULTS !!! These gentle skeletal corrections are only possible during the early ages 7-9.
Here is great example of early care to create more beautiful healthy smiles. Mom stated that her daughter never smiles or cares about brushing her teeth. Early treatment resolved the crowding via expansion and allowed for her to get her teeth straight. The daughter was so THRILLED to see her smile that she placed more emphasis on brushing again. She completed care in 11 months. Mom and daughter LOVE the new SMILE !!! What an amazing example of early orthodontic care and its enhancement on POSITIVE SELF ESTEEM !!!!
Anterior Crossbites (top big teeth inside lower front teeth) can cause permanent damage to the bone and gum tissue of the lower front teeth if not corrected early. This was our office's former record holder with correction in 6 days !!! Our new record is 2.75 days-- not kidding!!! Mom sent us a photo to confirm.
Posterior Crossbites (top teeth inside lower teeth) require correction at an early age to avoid any future growth asymmetries. For example, left side of jaw growing longer than the right side and now the chin is no longer centered with nose and face. This is an example of one of our patients. It took a little over 3 months to get the correction needed.
Normally, our lower teeth rest against the inside of the upper front teeth. If they don't touch, troubles can arise. Excessive Overjet ( top teeth too far forward of lower front teeth) can lead to chipped or broken upper teeth. Since the top teeth don’t touch the lowers, there is no protection provided by the lowers from accidents such as falls. Sometimes we also find lacerations on the upper roof of the mouth where the lower front teeth have grown excessively too tall and now damage the gum tissues above them. This is an example of one of our patients which took 12 months to complete care.
Anterior Openbites can be due to incorrect position of tongue. The inability of the front teeth to close can alter speech negatively. Early correction with appliance therapy allows for effective quick resolution while jaws are still pliable. This is an example of one of our patients and treatment was completed in 3 months duration.
It is estimated that 80% of our facial growth is completed by eight years of age. Skeletal (jaw) problems, functional problems and significant dental problems are best treated at an early age (7-9 years) while growth is plentiful. At this early age, various types of orthodontics can be used to alter or reshape the jaws and supporting bone to a more normal jaw relationship. An improved structural foundation can be established, which provides space for the larger erupting permanent teeth. Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from some early orthodontic treatment.
Early intervention makes the completion of treatment at a later age easier and less time consuming. If left untreated until older, when all the permanent teeth have erupted and facial growth is complete, these same types of skeletal (jaw) and dental problems are more difficult to correct and sometimes require jaw surgery and/or the extraction of permanent teeth. Most young patients are very excited about orthodontic treatment and therefore the level of compliance and cooperation is even greater than with the older teenagers.
The benefits of Early Intervention include:
- A better prognosis for how the permanent teeth will develop
- The ability to correct any habits that may be the cause of development problems, such as thumb sucking or tongue pushing
- Correcting bite problems like an open bite, cross bite or deep bite
- The ability to guide the growth of the jaw to accommodate emerging teeth
- Lowering the risk of damage to any protruding teeth
- The ability to improve your child’s appearance
- Creating a more pleasing and functional arrangement of teeth, lips and face
- Alleviating future, and possibly more invasive, dental correction
- Increasing self-esteem and confidence in your child