At Castilla Orthodontics, we firmly believe that every patient’s teeth deserve the best, most comprehensive care. For that reason, Dr. Castilla, recommends that your child’s first orthodontic visit comes around age seven. By then, a few permanent teeth have surfaced, giving us the perfect opportunity to determine if and when treatment is necessary.

We offer braces for kids in Salem, OR so your children can start their orthodontic care off right. We’ll be alongside you through every step, checking in with your child during their journey and delivering them a pristine smile they can wear confidently.

Read on to learn more about braces for kids and if they’re suitable for your child.

Phase One Treatment

What are phase one braces for kids? This initial stage of treatment allows us to address any significant problems occurring in your child’s mouth. Typically, treatment ranges from 6 to 18 months.

Sometimes, phase one consists of a single orthodontic appliance, while other times, Dr. Castilla determines limited braces to be suitable for your child. Depending on their age, we may remove select baby teeth to make the process smoother. We offer options such as traditional, clear, or gold braces and additional appliances like palate expanders, thumb sucking devices, and orthodontic headgear.

Depending on what your child needs, we can use these appliances alone or in combination throughout your child’s orthodontic treatment. Dr. Castilla will use her extensive experience to determine the best course of action for your child’s teeth. As phase one treatment tends to coincide with a few baby teeth, Dr. Castilla might even place brackets on some that won’t fall out for a while.

These early braces solutions proactively reduce problems in your child’s future, treating minor issues before they become more significant and expensive. Braces for kids have many distinct advantages, most notably taking advantage of a period of active growth, allowing us to change how your child’s mouth forms. This gives us ample time to treat severe underbites, make room for teeth crowding, and more.

Still, we must adequately assess your child’s situation before recommending phase one treatment. If your child has poor oral hygiene, cavities, or will not comply with food restrictions, we often opt for other treatment paths. If we go ahead with braces in these situations, it can do more harm than good.

Dr. Castilla will have a straightforward and open conversation with you regarding your child’s orthodontic needs and readiness for treatment. We place children who are not yet ready into an observation period to determine the best time to start treatment.

If you’re considering braces for your child, work with them to practice good at-home care.

While orthodontics and dental care are distinct fields, good orthodontic care depends on your child taking care of their teeth. When we evaluate your child, we will monitor the growth and development of the jaws and adult teeth.

Phase one treatment will focus on the upper teeth. After phase one, your child will have to return for phase two treatment to continue treatment.

When to Consider Taking Your Child to Dr. Castilla

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, you should get your child evaluated at no later than seven years old. Visiting our office any later could allow specific problems to develop past their early stages, making them more challenging to treat. Likewise, children have some of their adult teeth by seven, making braces ideal for kids.

This gives us ample time to determine if overcrowding will become an issue and plan to correct for cross and overbites. In many instances, it’s easier for us to assess your child’s orthodontic situation before all of their permanent teeth emerge. For that reason, it makes sense to take your child in for an initial appointment before the age of seven.

How Orthodontics Can Help Your Child

You want to start treatment around seven years old for children with severe structural problems before the jawbones have finished developing. This gives Dr. Castilla the time to guide development – leading to less time wearing braces for kids. This also allows us to target and correct poor oral habits that would make treatment more difficult down the line.

Early treatment will provide an aesthetically pleasing smile and remove the possibility of future jaw problems, headaches, decay, and even tooth loss. Taking advantage of your child’s growth spurts allows braces for kids to work overtime, guiding development optimally.