As your child grows and changes, so will their smile. We recommend you have your child visit a dentist at least twice a year. Likewise, children in elementary school can benefit from seeing an orthodontist so that you can ensure their permanent teeth are growing properly. 

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist? 

The Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) states that children should visit an orthodontist by age 7. Although it’s a common belief that orthodontists are for teenagers, there are several other things that they do besides braces. The purpose of an orthodontist is to correct a litany of problems including crowded teeth, breathing problems, issues with biting or chewing, and misaligned jaws. After identifying one or more of these, children are less likely to experience lengthy treatments as a teen or adult. Our experts will identify any potential problems before they emerge, giving you guidance for the next steps. If we find issues that are more severe, we can offer Phase I orthodontics immediately. 

Phase I Orthodontics: What is it? 

Phase I Orthodontics is an early interceptive treatment recommended for kids that are experiencing moderate to severe problems. The goal is to develop jaws to prepare room for the future eruption of their adult teeth. This improves the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. Typically, this phase of treatment takes anywhere from 6 to 18 months, highly dependent upon the severity of the problem(s) being corrected. Jaw growth is influenced as their permanent teeth are guided into better positions. Phase II Braces Treatments will then have potential for shorter and simpler procedures. 

Orthodontic Consultation Basics 

Everyone wants a perfect smile, but it can be a journey to get there. This is especially true if you aren’t familiar with the orthodontist or what they do. With Nashville Children’s Dental Network, your child’s orthodontic journey can be simple and fun. 

The first step is consultation, when parents get to know their child’s orthodontist and vice versa. Patients, no matter what age, need to feel safe and welcome in the orthodontist’s office. After introducing our staff, parents will fill out paperwork and go over their child’s medical and dental history. This gives our specialists the necessary context for creating a treatment plan. 

Following this, your child will undergo imaging and an exam. X-rays may be taken, while the orthodontist uses hand tools to examine gums and teeth. After gathering necessary information, the orthodontist will develop a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs. Because each plan is customized, costs will vary. Office staff will take time to discuss insurance and finance options. The final step is scheduling your child’s first appointment, when their journey truly begins!