To have a properly aligned smile and jaw, the American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Mark Clauss recommend that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.
By this time, most children will have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, making it easier for orthodontists like Dr. Clauss to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems before they have the chance to become more severe. The first checkup can also tell if your child's bite shows signs necessary for braces.
Signs Your Child's Bite's Not Right
Outward appearances can be deceptive. As a parent around Watertown or Middlebury, it's not always easy to determine if your child may need orthodontic treatment just by observing them.
Here are some things to look out for that may indicate your child needs to see Dr. Mark Clauss:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Some children need early treatment.
Early, or interceptive, treatment with Dr. Clauss will allow us to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Help avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct bad habits like thumb sucking
- Help improve minor speech problems
Clauss Orthodontics offers free first consultations, so schedule an appointment for your child’s first orthodontic evaluation.
Early treatment now means a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Phase I / Interceptive Orthodontics
It can be more effective to address growth patterns or bite concerns at an earlier age so that they're easier to fine-tune once your child gets older.
That’s why Dr. Clauss offers growth modification techniques such as Phase I, space maintainers, palatal expanders, and more, beginning around age seven.
Phase II Orthodontics
Once your child gets a bit older, Dr. Clauss can use Phase 2 – conventional braces – to finalize his or her tooth alignment.
This two-step approach is usually less invasive and limits the need for oral surgery later on.
The only difference is that the second round of treatment is called Phase 2, because their treatment was preceded by an interceptive phase that positioned the teeth in a way that made them more efficient to align.