Early Treatment for Kids - Phase 1
At Stormberg Orthodontics, our mission is to help each one of our patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts them a lifetime – and sometimes, that process has to start early.
Kids Orthodontics in La Mesa, El Cajon, & San Diego County
Dr. Stormberg and our dedicated team of orthodontic specialists proudly treat patients of all ages in the La Mesa, CA area, and while many of our patients are teenagers or adults, we often recommend starting with early orthodontic treatment. In some cases, starting orthodontic treatment at an early age offers the best option for achieving a beautiful, lifelong smile.
When is the Best Time for an Orthodontic Evaluation?
Many parents ask us when to first bring their child in for an orthodontic evaluation – and the answer may be earlier than you expect. In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial consultation at age 7. We may or may not recommend starting treatment at this early age, but evaluating early on allows Dr. Stormberg to spot any current orthodontic problems or issues that may develop into problems later on. From their, we can recommend either starting early orthodontic treatment right away or monitoring dental development until the right time for treatment.
The Advantages of Early Orthodontic Evaluation
So, why is 7 the ideal age? By age 6 or 7, a child’s first adult molars have finished erupting, establishing the back bite. This allows your La Mesa orthodontist to evaluate tooth relationships in detail, making it possible to identify potential orthodontic problems that need correction. Not all children will need treatment at this early age, but if early treatment is necessary, it greatly improves the overall orthodontic result.
What Are the Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment?
While it isn’t right for all patients, early orthodontic treatment comes with a range of advantages. Treating early allows us to shape the development of the teeth and mouth, letting us make significant alterations to tooth alignment that would be much more difficult in later years. In fact, because of the upper jaw has yet to solidify into a single bone during childhood, we can use a device called a palatal expander to gently widen the upper jaw and make more room for teeth – a process that would require extensive oral surgery in later adolescence or adulthood. Here are just a few of the benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatment:
- Makes more room for crowded teeth without surgery
- Prevents the need for tooth extraction
- Improves facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Protects protruding front teeth from trauma
- Reduces the overall amount of time a child will spend in braces
Stormberg Observation Program
To help our young patients get the best possible care, we’ve created an Observation Program that lets us track orthodontic development over time, waiting for the perfect time to start treatment. Click here to learn more.
Your First Visit: What To Expect
Your custom treatment plan.
Braces or aligners just for you.
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FAQs from Dr. Kurt Stormberg
American Association of Orthodontists recommend you should schedule your child’s first appointment by age 7.
Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth can complement each other. By timing orthodontic treatment to predictable stages of dental development, the orthodontist may be able to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child may require corrective surgery or permanent teeth to be extracted if treated after growth has occurred.