Secure Your Child’s Healthy Smile With Two-Phase Treatment
As children develop their smiles, it is important to note the formation and structure of their teeth. To do so, we encourage you and your child to visit our professional and compassionate orthodontist for children’s orthodontics in Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Orangeburg, SC. The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated at age seven, and our White Brown Smiles team couldn’t agree more.
Early orthodontic treatment, also known as Phase 1 treatment, is advantageous because a young child’s teeth have not finished erupting; this allows us to guide their tooth eruption and address any problems at the earliest possible stage. Whether your child needs removable or fixed appliances, early orthodontic treatment can help to:
- Provide more room for crowded erupting teeth
- Preserve space for teeth that have not yet erupted
- Create facial symmetry by guiding jaw growth
- Reduce the possible need for tooth extraction
- Reduce the overall treatment time
When you bring your child to our practice, Dr. White Brown will be able to determine whether early orthodontic treatment is needed and when it should begin. If Phase 1 treatment is needed, we will create a personalized treatment plan for optimal results.
If your child completed Phase 1 treatment and their early braces and appliances have been removed, there will typically be a rest period to allow for their permanent teeth to come in. At this time, they can experience the benefits of early treatment, with a more attractive smile, while beginning the early adolescent years, a time when children often feel awkward about their appearance. This allows the child to see the results of Phase 1 treatment and to be ready for Phase 2 if needed.
When more of the permanent teeth are present, Phase 2 treatment begins. This generally consists of a full set of metal or clear braces. Invisalign® may also be an option in certain cases.
Early Dentofacial Orthopedics
While orthodontics involves changing the positions of the teeth, dentofacial orthopedics involves guiding the growth and development of the bones of the face, particularly the upper and lower jaws. These treatments work best when they’re done at a younger age before children reach puberty when there is more potential to change the shapes and sizes of bones. During puberty, the bones fuse, and growth stops, making changes in the shape of a bone much more difficult.
There are several appliances that orthodontists use which can influence a child’s facial growth and development. One of the most common is the palate expander, an appliance that is bonded to select upper teeth, and which places gradual pressure on the palate when activated. This pressure widens the palate by applying orthopedic forces on the suture located at the center of the palate. As the palate gradually widens, new bone grows to fill the space.
The palatal expander is usually worn for six to nine months, with the exact amount of time depending on the child’s needs. Generally, when a palatal expander is used, braces will still be needed to straighten the teeth and close any spaces between teeth that formed as the palate widens.
Dr. White Brown is an experienced provider of children’s orthodontics, so you can feel comfortable and confident with the care that your child will receive from her, as well as the entire White Brown Smiles team. If early orthodontic treatment is needed, we will create a personalized treatment plan for optimal results.
Learn More About Children's Orthodontics in Columbia, Florence, Greenville & Orangeburg, SC
To experience our 5-star-rated orthodontic care, schedule your Complimentary New Patient Smile Assessment today by calling (803) 749-4746 to reach any of our offices. You may also click here for our convenient online form. Your appointment includes the following:
- Discuss Your Goals
- In-Depth Exam
- Digital X-Rays
- Custom Treatment Plan
- Welcome Gift