Early Treatment

Face First Therapy (Ages 6 – 9)
Our practice joins the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists in suggesting that the first visit to an orthodontist should be after the first permanent teeth begin to erupt. Actual treatment is rarely needed at this age however!

We believe that early treatment should be directed at medical needs, stopping habits and correcting jaw issues. In other words, helping to shape the face for the future.

Examples of Face First Therapy
Our practice first works to ensure the bones and muscles of the face are forming and growing correctly. This involves working to ensure proper balance in the face muscles.

In order to accomplish this we advocate nose breathing, chewing with the mouth closed and swallowing with the tongue on the roof of the mouth. We even offer lessons for a very reasonable cost that assists patients to do this with the support of a patented oral mouth guard device.

We also may intercept by helping to get teeth to erupt into the mouth by removing a baby tooth or teeth or by using appliances or retainers.

Braces are used when the condition is a bit more severe and we believe that early care will help the jaws to grow better or avoid a serious problem from getting worse.

Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?
Early evaluation and occasional treatment can guide growing teeth into a more satisfactory position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.

In our practice, we pay particular attention to oral habits such as thumb and finger habits, mouth breathing, and tongue position. This is the base on Dr. Grob’s over 25 years of clinical experience.

Does early treatment benefit all children?

Early treatment, unlike early evaluation, does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more simply and proficiently corrected during the teen years when all the permanent teeth have erupted or the jaws have completed their growth. If Dr. Grob decides the patient is not ready for treatment, they are placed on our orthodontic recall program.

What is the Orthodontic Recall Program?
This recall program is for patients who were not yet ready for treatment. This program allows us to observe the growth pattern of the permanent teeth. Sometimes, improper growth positions of permanent teeth may be eradicated with early removal of baby teeth and reduce the amount of required treatment time for braces. We will notify your general dentist of any recommendations made during your visit. We normally see the patients on recall every 6-8 months to monitor their growth progress. There is no fee for this program within insurance regulations and it helps the orthodontist decide the best time to start treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.

If a child has treatment early, will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?
Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet grown in when early treatment is performed, their final position may not have been corrected. Typically, a shortened comprehensive phase of treatment (Phase II – full braces) in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have grown in, completes the correction. However, in rare circumstances, further orthodontic treatment may not be indicated. In our practice, all treatment fees charged for early treatment are applied to the Total Treatment Fee. This is part of our Great Smile For Life Program.

AAO early Treatment Guide

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