Elementary Years

Our Orthodontics and Pediatric dentists offer a full range of services for your growing child.

As your child’s smile evolves and their permanent teeth begin to grow in, it’s important that your child is seen by a pediatric dentist twice annually. Additionally, it’s beneficial for children in elementary school to be seen by an orthodontist to ensure permanent teeth are growing in appropriately.

When Should My Child Visit an Orthodontist?

According to the Academy of Orthodontics (AAO), children should see an orthodontist by age 7. Despite common misconceptions, orthodontists do more than put braces on teenagers with crooked permanent teeth. Orthodontists correct various issues, including crowded teeth, breathing problems, biting or chewing issues, and misaligned jaws. When these issues are identified by an orthodontist and corrected at an early age, children are less likely to undergo lengthier, more intensive, and more expensive orthodontic treatments in their teenage years or adulthood.

If any issues are identified in your child’s bite, jaw, or teeth positioning, your orthodontist will provide expert guidance to let you know if the problems are small enough to be corrected by traditional braces when your child is older or if the issues are more severe and need to be addressed sooner than later with the help of Phase I orthodontics.

What is Phase I Orthodontics?

Phase I (also referred to as early interceptive treatment) is an orthodontic treatment recommended for kids with moderate to severe orthodontic problems. The goal of Phase I is to develop your child’s jaws to prepare room for the future eruption of permanent teeth and improve the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. This phase typically lasts between 6 to 18 months, depending on the severity of the problem being corrected. When kids undergo Phase I, their jaw growth is influenced positively, permanent teeth are guided into more favorable positions, and Phase II Braces Treatments may be shortened and simplified.

What to Expect at an Orthodontic Consultation

The thought of a perfect smile is exciting, but the steps to get there can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the orthodontist. With the right orthodontist, this process can be easy, painless, and even exciting for you and your child.

Orthodontic consultations are great opportunities for patients to get to know their orthodontists and vice versa. It’s essential for patients to feel safe, comfortable, and welcome at their orthodontist’s office. After staff introductions and an office tour, parents will be asked to fill out necessary paperwork regarding your child’s medical and dental history. This information is vital in helping the orthodontist create a safe, customized orthodontic treatment plan for your child. 

The next step in the orthodontic consultation is imaging and an exam. This process is very similar to a traditional visit to the dentist in that x-rays may be taken, and the orthodontist uses hand tools to examine the teeth and gums. With the information gathered from the imaging and exam, the orthodontist will expertly put together a personalized treatment plan to suit your child’s specific needs. This treatment plan will give you and your child a better understanding of the available treatment options and will be most beneficial in creating a beautiful, healthy smile. This treatment plan may include any dental issues that must be addressed with a dentist before having braces, such as cavities or tooth extractions.

Because each treatment plan is customized to fit each patient’s individualized needs, costs may vary. The office staff will take the time to sit down with you and discuss insurance and financing options. The final step in the orthodontic consultation is scheduling the first appointment! This can be done in-office after the consultation with the office staff. Should you have any questions or concerns during the consultation process, please do not hesitate to ask them.

UCDN’s orthodontic specialists are committed to providing a world-class experience from consultation to debonding day. Please view our list of convenient locations and schedule your appointment today.

Find an Orthodontist Near You

Your child’s journey to a healthy, beautiful smile starts at a UCDN office near you! Our network of premier orthodontists has years of trusted experience treating kids, teens, and adults. Please view our list of convenient locations and schedule your appointment today.