Early Orthodontic Treatment in Buffalo, NY

You may be wondering whether your child needs braces and early orthodontic treatment. There was a time when most parents didn’t begin to think about the need of early orthodontic treatment for their children until the teenage years.

Now, parents, dentists, and orthodontists look toward treating children that haven’t quite hit their teen years in an effort to help avoid more complicated and costly treatment in the future.

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Why Should You Consider Early Orthodontic Treatment for Your Child?

In the past, the trend for orthodontic treatment was to wait until most or all of a child’s permanent teeth had come in. However, most orthodontic problems are much easier to correct sooner rather than later. This is why professionals recommend and insist upon early orthodontic treatment.

Certain orthodontic conditions can be treated as early as 7 or 8 years old. Although they may not be able to be totally corrected at that time, early orthodontic treatment can drastically reduce the amount of treatment that a child needs to undergo during their teen years.

What Are The Most Common Early Orthodontic Treatments for Children?


There are several conditions that can benefit from early orthodontic treatments.

Early or late loss of baby teeth

Patients usually lose their baby teeth are in the same order in which the teeth came in for the child. If a patient does not lose baby teeth during the normal time frame or in the right order, there are several issues that can require orthodontic intervention. Crowding of teeth may occur if the baby teeth are lost too soon. If baby teeth fall out too late, the permanent teeth may come in crowded and also be crooked. If a permanent tooth comes in before a baby tooth is lost, it can create crowding. Although crowding isn’t an emergency, it is something that can affect the smile or bite of a child. If a child loses a tooth due to trauma or decay, early orthodontic treatment can include using a spacer to make sure that the permanent tooth comes in correctly.

Orthodontic issues caused by thumb sucking

Prolonged thumb sucking can cause an open bite. Sometimes an open bite corrects itself, but many times it can only be corrected with orthodontic care. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the open bite.

What Are Overbites and Underbites?

An overbite occurs when the upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. An underbite occurs when the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw. Overbites and underbites don’t always cause problems. Yet, even if your child doesn’t suffer from a speech impediment or sinus problems they may be subject to teasing from other children. Early orthodontic treatment involves taking x-rays and a mold to determine the cause of the misplaced bite. Then, treatment is customized for each child.

What Is A Crossbite?

A crossbite can be either anterior or posterior. Essentially, it means that when your child bites down, their teeth don’t line up properly. A crossbite can cause dental problems and problems for your child’s self-esteem. It’s possible that an untreated crossbite can cause your child’s face to develop in an asymmetrical fashion. It can also cause gum disease and chronic pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. A crossbite can be corrected with early orthodontic treatment and can save your child from a life full of chronic pain and low self-esteem.

The Stages of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment is usually done in stages. These stages are referred to as Phase I and Phase II. In Phase I, treatment focuses on correcting your child’s bite, teaching your child good oral hygiene, preventing or lessening a dental issue, helps guide the development of the child’s jaw, guides permanent teeth into their proper place, and could also provide a positive boost to your child’s self-esteem. Phase I is all about beginning the corrections that need to occur to help minimize the risk of lifelong dental issues.

Phase II occurs a little bit later into the early orthodontic treatment. This involves the use of braces. The purpose of braces is to help guide your child’s teeth into the proper position and stabilize them. Phase II often doesn’t begin until the child is between 11 and 15 years of age. Their permanent teeth have come in. One of the benefits of waiting until this age for braces is that orthodontists are able to work with the child’s bite and teeth placement during the time they are most likely to grow. This can actually help lessen the amount of time that the child needs to have braces.

Determining If Your Child Would Benefit from Early Orthodontic Treatment

So, just how do you know if your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment? As a parent, you may see some indications in the way that your child’s smile looks or if they’re complaining of pain in their jaw. Ultimately, the best way to know if your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment is to take your child to a dental professional. Dentists can take an x-ray and examine your child’s oral health. They can also refer you to an orthodontist who specializes in early treatment. The orthodontist can examine your child and make the determination of whether your child would benefit from early treatment. Not all children need early treatment. This is why it is important to seek out the expert advice of an orthodontist who specializes in treating children.

Choosing the Right Orthodontist

Choosing the right orthodontist can be daunting. You should always do your homework and make sure they have a great track record. It’s important to choose an orthodontist in Buffalo NY with experience in early treatment in order to ensure that your child’s assessment and potential treatment is the best it can possibly be. If you’re in need for an orthodontist for you child, contact Orthodontists Associates of Western New York for a free screening.

When Should A Child Start Orthodontic Treatment?

A child should seek orthodontic treatment if their dentist notices any issues during their annual visit. While seeing the orthodontist they will decide if your child may need braces and what course of actions would be best for treatment. One of the reasons your child may have teeth or jaw issues could be due to losing baby teeth too soon.

What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment is used in most cases where a child still has some of their baby teeth, and before all of their adult teeth have come through. Phase 1 is used to help many situations. One being gapped, crowded or crooked teeth. Along with teeth not coming together properly, protruding teeth, speech issues, issues with breathing comfortable and many more.

What Is A Good Age to Get Braces?

When you are someone who is in need of braces, you can benefit from them at any age. What’s considered an ideal age to get braces would be between the ages of 10 and 14. This is because the mouth and head are still growing which means teeth are more likely to straighten.

How Many Stages of Braces Are There?  

The first stage of getting braces is the consultation stage. During this appointment you have impressions of your lower and upper teeth. After this whatever concerns your orthodontists sees they will go over them with you. Insurances issues are taking care of at this time. Next you have banding/bonding this is when your braces are placed. Your bands are fitted after a week when your spacers are taken out. Once this is complete you then go to your routine appointments every 4-7 weeks to have your braces adjusted. During the debanding stage your braces are taken off and your teeth are polished. Lastly you have the retainer stage.

Are Two Phases of Braces Necessary?  

Two phases of braces are not necessary, but it is very beneficial in some cases. Depending on the case of the individual, phase 2 treatment means braces are placed on the lower and upper teeth. If you child had Phase 1 treatment before Phase 2 this is where you will see it was a beneficial decision. If you have both Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatments finished, you are able to avoid things such as surgery and extractions.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer After Braces?

If you do not wear a retainer after your braces come off it is possible that your teeth can still shift. This is more likely to happen if you do not wear your retainer soon after your braces are taken off. This is because everything is softer and not fully settled in. If you had treatment for something more serious such as severely crooked teeth or crowding you are more susceptible to movement.

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Download Our Free Early Treatment Orthodontics Guide

Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer early orthodontic treatment throughout Buffalo, LancasterOleanHamburgOrchard Park, and Dunkirk, East Aurora, and Niagara Falls New York. If you are considering early orthodontic treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our 7 convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation.

At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile