Is Your Child Ready for Their First Visit to the Orthodontist?

June 25, 2024


As a parent, you love to see your kids smile! At Sandy Smiles Orthodontics, we know how important it is to take care of your little one’s oral health and set them up for success in the years to come. That’s why we recommend bringing your child to see us sooner rather than later. 

So when is the best time to schedule an orthodontic appointment for your child?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child sees an orthodontic specialist at age 7. At that age your child's jaw is developed enough and they have enough permanent teeth for Dr. Morgan Zwickel to diagnose (versus “spot”) any potential issues with their teeth, mouth, and jaw. A combination of growth monitoring and phase 1 treatment can help identify and correct orthodontic issues before they turn into larger, more complicated issues. 

Often times, children with protruding teeth or with large gaps in their upper 2 central teeth can be embarrassing for kids. By treating at a younger age with Phase 1 orthodontics, Dr. Zwickel and her team can move those teeth building self-esteem and confidence in your child. Dr. Zwickel herself had Phase 1 treatment at age 8 to correct a large gap between her upper 2 central teeth. In fact, having her gap fixed with early orthodontic treatment was the primary motivation behind Dr. Zwickel’s deciding to be an orthodontist. Well that and her love of children!

What is Phase 1 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, also called early interceptive orthodontics, is a problem-focused treatment plan, aiming to mitigate future orthodontic problems. When you bring your child into Sandy Smiles Orthodontics, Dr. Morgan Zwickel can assess your child's needs during the first consultation. Concerns such as crowding, large spacing, problematic facial growth, and bad habits, such as thumb-sucking, cheek-biting, or tongue-thrusting are also taken into consideration. At this assessment, we will develop your child's individualized treatment plan and determine if phase 1 treatment is right for them.

What appliances are used in Phase 1 treatment?

During phase 1 treatment, a variety of appliances may be recommended by Dr. Zwickel. Some are well-known, such as braces, expanders, and retainers. Other appliances that could possibly be used during phase 1 treatment include space maintainers, habit correcting appliances, and headgear. No matter what treatment plan is developed for your child, Dr. Morgan Zwickel, a board-certified orthodontist, has had specialized training to take excellent care of your child’s smile.

What are the benefits of Phase 1 treatment?

We talk a lot about early intervention in orthodontics because there are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child. Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but oftentimes, additional treatment is still necessary. However, children who have undergone early orthodontic phase 1 treatment typically wear braces or Invisalign for a shorter period of time in their teen or adult years than those who have not undergone early intervention.

Is your child ready for treatment? Click below to schedule an appointment with us today!

Get in Touch!

(850) 244-3880

Fort Walton Beach, FL
824 Eglin Parkway NE

(850) 244-3880

DeFuniak Springs, FL
746 Baldwin Ave.

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