For most patients, orthodontic treatment begins during the early teenage years when all the permanent teeth have fully erupted into your child's mouth. At this time, the orthodontist places braces on all your child's teeth and then moves them into the right position. However, it is recommended that once a developing, severe malocclusion (bad bite) is recognized during the primary dentition stage or in early childhood that early interceptive orthodontics be considered for your child.

Developing malocclusions, or bad bites, can be recognized as early as 2-3 years of age. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age. Early (interceptive) orthodontic treatment corrects problems such as severely crooked and crowded teeth, underbites and overbites, incorrect jaw position, and disorders of the TMJ (jaw joint).

Stage I - Early (Interceptive) Treatment:
This period of treatment encompasses ages 2-6 years. At this young age, we are concerned with underdeveloped dental arches, the premature loss of primary teeth, and harmful habits such as finger or thumb sucking. Treatment initiated in this stage of development is often very successful and many times, though not always, can eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment for your child.

Stage II - Mixed Dentition Treatment:
This period covers the ages of 6-12 years, with the eruption of the permanent incisor (front) teeth and the 6 year molars. Treatment concerns deal with jaw mal-relationships and dental realignment problems. This is an excellent stage to start treatment, when indicated, as your child's hard and soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic forces.

Stage III - Adolescent Dentition Treatment:
This stage deals with your child's permanent teeth and the development of the final bite relationship.


Doctor Wang, Doctor Perea-Corkish, Doctor Gerodias and the other Doctors of Discovery Pediatric Dentistry make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any results to be obtained from use of the information on this page. We cannot diagnose or treat patients over the Internet. Information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical, and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist, and other necessary and qualified health care providers can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

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