Orthodontic problems like misaligned bites, crowding, and narrow palates tend to appear when a child is young, and often manifest as their baby teeth come in. Early intervention orthodontics aims to address these issues before they get worse, and make the later stages of treatment easier, faster, and more comfortable. 

At Chapman Smiles Orthodontics in Happy Valley, Clackamas, Oregon, orthodontist Dr. Gary Chapman can evaluate your child’s teeth, jaw, and mouth, and let you know if early orthodontic intervention is the appropriate course of treatment. 

The benefits of early orthodontic intervention

The importance of pediatric and preventive dentistry can’t be understated. Teaching children the importance of oral hygiene benefits them for the rest of their lives, and regular check-ups both familiarize them with the process and reduce anxiety associated with the dentist. 

These visits also give dentists a chance to identify future problems with your child’s mouth. Early orthodontic intervention aims to address problems with the teeth, palate, and jaw before any adult teeth come in. This early treatment can have many benefits, including: 

  • Establishing smile security, ensuring that future treatments will result in a straight, healthy smile
  • Guiding adult teeth, reducing problems like crowding and crookedness as they grow in
  • Improving oral hygiene, making it easier for your child to brush and floss their teeth 
  • Boosting confidence, giving your child a beautiful smile to look forward to
  • Lowering the risk of dental problems like tooth erosion and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Types of phase one appliances

It’s easier to correct problems with the jaw and palate while your child is still growing, and childhood orthodontics can make future treatments faster, easier, and more effective. At Chapman Smiles, Dr. Chapman uses phase one appliances to gently guide your child’s teeth. These include: 

  • The T-Rex, which fits onto the roof of the mouth and pushes the molars back, making room for your child’s permanent teeth 
  • The Penguin, which replaces traditional headgear and corrects crowding and crooked teeth
  • The D-gainer, which is placed directly on the molars to prevent overcrowding 
  • The palatal expander, which corrects narrow palates by widening the upper jaw

Most of these appliances only need to be worn for 3-12 months, and they can reduce the amount of time spent in dental braces when your child is older. 

How to tell if your child needs early intervention

Only an orthodontist can precisely diagnose what’s wrong with your child’s teeth, but a quick look into your child’s mouth might reveal some problems. You should consider taking your child for an early orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven, especially if they have visible problems like: 

  • Severely misaligned teeth
  • An obvious overbite, underbite, or crooked bite
  • Missing or extra teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Sleep-disordered breathing 

Dr. Chapman can help diagnose these problems and determine what treatment plan will benefit your child most. To schedule a consultation, call 503-336-1883 or request an appointment online

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content