Many parents are wondering why their children are being recommended for early orthodontic treatment, whereas they might have been used to getting braces around when they completed High School.
There are two phases of Orthodontics commonly used today:
Phase I: Cemented or removable appliances and/ or partial brackets and wires during mixed dentition and before puberty (ages 7-13) (first permanent molars and as many of the front 8 incisors in)
Phase II: Orthodontics when in permanent dentition
Prior to puberty the maxilla or upper jaw can be expanded to correct crossbites, unerupted anterior teeth, and crowding that would otherwise require extractions of primary or permanent teeth. Underbites and severe overjets are easier to correct as the appliances guide the jaws as the child is growing or developing.
Post puberty and in permanent teeth Phase II ortho corrects mild to moderate crowding, mild to moderate overbite and overjet. Severe crowding can result in extraction of permanent teeth, and severe malocclusion will need surgery to correct to ideal.
Overall Phase I when necessary has greatly reduced the number of people that need serial extractions, extractions of primary teeth and permanent teeth, resulting in a more full smile and esthetic facial profile