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Part of your child's orthodontic treatment journey may include the use of expanders. These appliances are used to widen your child's jaw to provide sufficient room for his or her teeth to straighten. An expander is a removable appliance which you will need to manage for your child in between appointments. It comes with a small key which you need to insert into the hole of the expander to twist. We'll show you how at your child's fitting appointment. 


FAQs about early orthodontic treatment

When is the best time to consider phase 1 and phase 2 treatments?

Phase one treatment usually starts while the child has most of his/her baby teeth and a few of his/her permanent teeth. This stage in development is usually about the age of seven. 

Phase two treatment usually occurs some years later. Usually, we are waiting for 12-16 more permanent teeth to erupt before phase two begins. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of phase two treatment is to achieve an ideal bite and to give your child a smile they deserve. 

What is Full or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment?

This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a phase one treatment was not performed. 

Does everyone need a phase one treatment?

Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. All others can wait until most, if not all, their permanent teeth erupt. If your child does not need phase I treatment we will continue to monitor his/her dental and jaw growth at regular complimentary appointments until all of his/her permanent teeth have come in. 

Can I wait on Phase One/Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment until my child is older?

This is not recommended. If your child needs phase one treatment, this usually means that he/she has a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment may include extractions, oral surgery, increased time and costs. 

What is extraction and non-extraction therapy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Extraction therapy (also known as serial extractions) is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in your child’s mouth, usually ending in permanent teeth being removed. As many as eight teeth (baby and permanent) may be removed. 

Non-extraction therapy is where one expands a patient’s jaw or shaves down some teeth to make everything fit. As non-extraction doctors, Cater and Galante prefer to expand the jaw to make room for all your child’s permanent teeth. 

Book a free consultation for your child with us today at our Salinas Ortho clinic to find out if he or she could benefit from early orthodontic treatment.

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