Primary (baby) teeth usually stay in place until the permanent teeth erupt into their position. There are cases where primary teeth are lost prematurely due to trauma or removal due to dental disease. A space maintainer may be indicated to prevent future space loss and dental problems. Space maintainers hold the empty space left by the tooth loss until the permanent tooth comes in. The custom fit appliances are made of metal or plastic. Children adjust easily to them within days. This treatment may alleviate the need for any future orthodontic treatment.
Our office will guide you through the orthodontic process. Referrals will be based on your child’s age and specific needs.
There are three stages of potential orthodontic treatment:
Stage 1: Interceptive treatment (primary dentition)
This stage occurs between the ages of 2-6 years. Issues such as underdeveloped arches, premature loss of primary teeth and oral habits such as finger or thumb sucking may be addressed. Treatment at this time may alleviate the need for future orthodontics/ orthopedic treatment.
Stage 2: Orthodontists refer to this as “Phase One” (mixed dentition)
This period covers the ages 6-12 years with the eruption of permanent incisors and the 6 year molars. Treatment will deal with the upper and lower jaw relationships and moderate to severe dental realignment problems.
This is an excellent time to initiate treatment as your child’s hard and soft tissues are easily transformed by appropriate orthodontic and orthopedic forces.
Stage 3: Orthodontists refer to this as “Phase Two” (adolescent dentition)
This phase of treatment deals with the permanent teeth. The teeth are leveled, aligned and the final bite relationship is established.