Welcome back to Part 2 of this two part series, where we are answering the most frequently asked questions we get from parents considering orthodontic treatment for their children.

In Part 1  we discussed materials, costs and the importance of regular check ups and after care. Here, in Part 2 we discuss the importance of early treatment.

Is it better to start treatment early?

In different countries, different dentists will have different approaches, and treat patients in different ways. Abroad, a lot of the dentists will tend to carry out treatment when the child is around the age of 8 or 9, and they will do it in two phases. The first phase in the mix tissue when the child has a mixture of both baby teeth and adult teeth, then they may consider whether to do a second phase when the patient is older and has adult teeth.

In the U.K., a lot of our training is with young teenagers, before baby teeth have been lost, and when adult teeth are present. So we tend to start treatment when the child is around 12 or 13. Sometimes children lose their baby teeth a bit earlier, and so may be able to start earlier, for example at 11. That’s the ideal scenario, but treatment can be started right up to adulthood.

Will my child have to have teeth out for treatment?

This depends on a number of factors. Here at the Straight Teeth Suite, we use brackets like the Damon brackets, which fortunately have brought down our extraction rate, so we need to take less teeth out.

We will only remove teeth if there is severe crowding, if the profile is really filled up, or your child has severe overjet. Overjet, not to be confused with overbite, means the top teeth are very far forward, and they need to be pushed back.

If a tooth is really unhealthy it may need to come out. These are the only times that we will consider extraction. Obviously, there will be some exceptions. But fortunately, we’ve reduced our extraction rates, thanks to using the Damon system.

Is my child suitable for this treatment?

As long as their teeth are healthy, the roots of their teeth are healthy, and their gums are healthy, your child should be suitable.

There are some patients whose bite issues are so severe that they can only be corrected with surgery. Luckily this is very rare, but if your child happens to be one of those cases, we would tell you immediately and refer you to the hospital.

How long will treatment take?

Treatment times can take anything between 12, 18, or 24 months, depending on the complexity of the corrections being made. In some cases patients may need a removable brace first, and then move on to a fixed brace.

If you still have questions, or you think your child may need braces, contact us HERE for a FREE consultation and we can develop a treatment plan especially for your child.

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