Kids’ orthodontics

Ready for braces?

Getting braces is an important decision—one that will not only transform your child’s smile but also improve their health! The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child receive their first orthodontic checkup no later than age seven. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, only an orthodontist can determine if your child may benefit from early treatment.

A pediatric orthodontist can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and erupting teeth even while baby teeth are still present. That’s important because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re found early. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent the need for tooth extraction or surgery in the future by working with your child’s natural growth processes. Early treatment can help by creating room for crowded, erupting teeth or by creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth.

Signs that indicate the need for an orthodontic checkup:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (children typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Continued thumb-sucking past age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (cross-bite)
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Scheduling your child’s first complimentary appointment with our kids’ orthodontists in Oak Lawn, IL, is an important way to set up your child’s smile for success. Our skilled family orthodontists can determine if your child could benefit from two-phase orthodontic treatment.

Two-Phase orthodontic treatment

In Two-Phase orthodontic treatment, children receive Phase One between the ages of seven and 11, before all the permanent teeth have set in. This phase is often used to lay a good foundation for the permanent teeth and correct jaw growth problems that would otherwise require extraction or surgery later. Palatal expanders or Invisalign® First for kids may be used at this stage.

A resting period occurs between the two phases to allow permanent teeth to come in. Retainers may be recommended during this period.

Phase Two usually begins after all permanent teeth have arrived. This final stage of the treatment involves full braces or aligner treatment to make sure that all teeth are exactly where they should be and are in harmony with the lips, cheeks, and tongue. It is during Phase Two that your beautiful, healthy smile comes together!

Two-Phase treatment is an excellent option for many young patients. By intervening with orthodontic care early, our specialists deliver healthy smiles, preventatively treat problems, and minimize the risk of a patient needing future extractions or surgery later on. If your child is undergoing Two-Phase treatment, rest assured their smile is in expert hands!