Early Orthodontics

Early Orthodontics services offered in Arcadia CA

If your child has crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth, pediatric orthodontics can transform their smile and encourage optimal oral health and esthetics. At Kaitlin McClure Orthodontics, orthodontist Dr. McClure, specializes in pediatric care. She offers Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment to ensure beautiful smiles and lasting treatment outcomes. To make an appointment for your child at the practice in Arcadia, California, call the office or request an appointment online today.

What is early orthodontics?

Early orthodontics diagnoses, treats, and prevents teeth and jaw misalignments in children as young as age 6 and through their teen years. Specifically, it uses custom orthodontic appliances –– like removable or fixed oral appliances, clear aligners, traditional braces, or retainers –– to help your child show off a beautiful, healthy smile.

By investing in early orthodontics during childhood, it’s possible to reduce the risk of potentially serious issues in the future, including tooth decay and gum disease.

What issues can early orthodontics treat?

Dr. McClure uses early orthodontics to treat various alignment issues, including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Crowding
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Spaced teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

Your child might also benefit from early orthodontics if they experience malocclusion. Malocclusion occurs when your child’s upper and lower jaw aren’t properly aligned.

What are the types of early orthodontics?

Early orthodontics falls into two categories –– Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment.

Phase 1 treatment

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is usually recommended for children ages 6-10. Dr. McClure might recommend Phase 1 treatment if your child is at risk of potentially serious alignment or eruption issues.

The goal of Phase 1 treatment is to ensure proper jaw growth and tooth eruption. To achieve this goal, Dr. McClure uses custom orthodontic appliances like specialized retainers, headgear, space maintainers, or expanders.

Phase 2 treatment

Phase 2 orthodontic treatment uses traditional metal braces or removable oral aligners to move your child’s teeth into the correct position. The process can help correct crowding, close spacing, and address issues such as overbite and underbite. Most children begin Phase 2 treatment when they’re 11-12 years old.

Not every child needs two phases of orthodontic treatment. While some orthodontic treatment can wait until the 11-12 year range when all permanent teeth are in, it’s still important to have a consultation around age 7 or 8 to ensure a Phase I treatment is not necessary.

How can I tell if my child might benefit from early orthodontics?

Only a qualified orthodontist like Dr. McClure can determine if your child might benefit from pediatric orthodontics. Still, there are some telltale signs, including:

  • Losing baby teeth before age 5
  • Biting or chewing issues
  • Thumb or finger sucking after age 3
  • Crowded teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crossbite

If you notice that your child has any of these issues, make an appointment at Kaitlin McClure Orthodontics right away.

How long does treatment with early orthodontics take?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment usually lasts 9-18 months*, while Phase 2 treatment usually lasts 12-30 months*. The process may go faster or slower depending on the issues addressed and your child’s commitment to Dr. McClure’s care plan.

To see if your child can benefit from early orthodontics, book an appointment at Kaitlin McClure Orthodontics. Call the office or request one online today.

*Individual results may vary.