Dr. Jesse Teng

Early Orthodontic Check Ups for Your Loved Ones – Is There a Benefit?

A few months ago, we congratulated Dr. Teng’s eight-year-old son, Ryan on getting his braces. Above you see part of the process of his big day. You might wonder why such a young child might get braces since he likely does not have all his adult teeth.

When considering orthodontic treatment, most people visualize teenagers as the typical patient. While this can be true, the first orthodontic check-up should be around the age of 7. Why?

Your child’s teeth might appear straight, yet there could be an underlying issue that only a qualified orthodontist can detect. Our board-certified orthodontists will look for abnormal jaw development, severe overcrowding, and harmful oral habits. These types of issues not only affect the appearance of your child’s smile but also bite function and their long-term oral health.

If an issue is identified, it is possible that observation is recommended in order to monitor the problem. In other cases, early orthodontic treatment might be beneficial for your child. Early treatment can eliminate or minimize the negative effects of a development issue and lessen the need for extensive and difficult treatment in the future. Such treatment can be called Phase I Treatment, or Early Interceptive Treatment, and will focus on treating the immediate problem only. Below are some common types of Phase I treatment which can be used individually or in combination.

Appliance Therapy

Appliances can be fixed on the teeth or removable. An active appliance will cause change, such as an expander. Other types are habit appliances and space maintainers.

Limited Braces

Braces are placed on permanent teeth already erupted. Brackets can be added to other teeth as needed.


When a jaw development issue is identified, your child’s orthodontist might recommend headgear to direct and encourage proper growth. Due to advances in orthodontics, headgear is not as common and if required, is usually worn only at home.

Guided Extraction

Tooth eruption has a natural pattern. Your child’s orthodontist might recommend the extraction of some baby teeth when the pattern has been interrupted. This will guide the permanent teeth into the correct position and prevent overcrowding.

Early orthodontic treatment can have a positive effect on your child and help them smile and grow up with more confidence. We offer many financing options to make treatment affordable should your child need treatment. Don’t hesitate to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation at either of our conveniently located JT Orthodontics offices in East and West El Paso. Call JT Orthodontics West on Mesa Street at (915) 581-5476 and JT Orthodontics East on Trawood at (915) 855-6616 or visit us at https://www.jtorthodontics.com/el-paso-orthodontic-office

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