The proper timing of seeing an orthodontist is important to your child as many problems with their occlusion (the way their upper and lower teeth come together) may manifest itself early in childhood. If your child has any discrepancies in their occlusion, they may be a candidate to see an orthodontist to correct the issue before it becomes more problematic as they mature. Early intervention, often referred to as “interceptive orthodontics” or “phase I orthodontics”, is very common in children as early as 7 years of age, and continues through 9 years of age. This is the very reason why the American Academy of Orthodontics recommends to have your child be evaluated by 7 years of age. It is at this critical period in a child’s life where specific growth can determine if there is proper space for the permanent dentition to align correctly. The positioning of these teeth will then dictate the overall health of the gums and bones which surround them. If teeth align well, and have minimal crowding, it is easier to maintain good oral hygiene, and limit the buildup of plaque throughout the day. However, if crowding is present, not only is it difficult to keep the area clean, but the buildup of plaque is exacerbated, making it very difficult to maintain good oral health overall.

The advanced pediatric dental residency program at USC incorporates orthodontic lectures into its curriculum, which allows for Dr. Yeung and Dr. Kang to further understand the current philosophies of orthodontics. With this knowledge and understanding, they will be able to refer your child, if necessary, to see an orthodontist in order to ensure a timely consultation. This will significantly decrease any missed opportunities to correct any problems they see during regular dental checkups. The common misunderstanding many parents believe is that a child should have all of their adult teeth prior to any start of orthodontic treatment. As this may be true for some children with no dental crowding or positioning of teeth, those children with these issues can benefit tremendously with proper early treatment. The orthodontist can stop and even reverse any dental crowding present, preventing a mild/moderate crowding from progressing to a more severe one. Please ask Dr. Yeung or Dr. Kang if you have any concerns about your child’s oral growth and development, and if they are a candidate for early orthodontic intervention.

In addition to seeing children at the Brea Pediatric Dental Practice and Orthodontics, Dr. Chau also welcomes adults as new patients for consults and treatment. The trend of having braces is no longer limited to adolescents, but now expands into adults who have long considered treatment, but felt they had passed their opportunity to do so. With new technology, adults can now have more choices to undergo orthodontic treatment discreetly, as the smile makeover can have improved social and professional benefits as well. Dr. Chau is available to answer any questions or concerns about yours or your child’s specific treatment recommended, so please feel free to ask Jennifer about making your initial consult at no cost, which includes radiographs and photographs at no cost!

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