Early Orthodontic Treatment

Dr. Tim S. Trulove provides early orthodontic treatment, also known as Phase I treatment, at his Montgomery, AL, offices to detect and correct orthodontic issues while the smile is still developing. Although children who undergo treatment may still need braces once their adult teeth have fully emerged, early intervention can encourage the teeth and jaw to mature properly. This can shorten and simplify future orthodontic treatment, as well as help your child to avoid more extensive and costly procedures in the future. Treatment at a young age can also have a significant impact on your child's confidence and quality of life. 

Children who receive Phase I treatment are more likely to require shorter, less expensive orthodontia in their teen years.

Conditions Treated with Early Intervention 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated by an orthodontist no later than age seven. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of early orthodontic treatment, an evaluation can help Dr. Trulove diagnose and treat oral health issues before they progress. Although your child's smile may appear healthy, there are certain conditions, such as crossbites and narrow arches, that are harder to detect but easier to treat while the teeth and jaws are still developing. 

Narrow Dental Arch

In some cases, your child's dental arch may be too small to support permanent teeth. By correcting this condition, we can prevent your child from developing a crowded smile once adult teeth erupt. Using a a device called a palatal expander, we can gradually widen your child's arch. This process creates adequate space for teeth to grow.

Crossbite

A crossbite is a form of dental misalignment usually present in childhood. It can cause your child's jaws to become unbalanced, as they compensate for uneven pressure when chewing. Early orthodontic treatment can help realign the jaws and dental arches, minimizing the risk of developing conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. 

Protruding Front Teeth

Besides the aesthetic issues that protruding front teeth can present, their exposure and prominence place your child at risk for accidental damage to their teeth. Broken or chipped teeth can require more expensive cosmetic treatment, including dental bonding and dental crowns. By intervening early, we can correct the position of protruding teeth with partial braces or a retainer, improving both the form and function of your child's smile.

Will Your Child Need Additional Treatment Later?

image of smiling child with bracesAlthough early orthodontic treatment can address a variety of conditions in their earliest stages, most children will need additional orthodontic treatment once their adult teeth have fully emerged around age 13. Parents who are worried about the cost of additional treatment can rest assured that there are several benefits to early intervention. Once permanent teeth have fully developed, it takes longer to effectively address dental issues. As a result, children who receive Phase I treatment are more likely to require shorter, less expensive orthodontia in their teen years.

Schedule an Evaluation 

Early orthodontic treatment can help your child achieve a healthier smile as an adult. During your consultation, our team can thoroughly review your child's dental needs before recommending appropriate treatment. Call our office at (334) 277-2980 or contact us online to schedule your child's evaluation with Dr. Trulove.