How young should parents put their kids in braces? Dunn Ortho’s own Courtney Dunn, DDS, was featured in a recent news story on CBS Channel 5 News covering this hot topic. The story investigated whether to put young children (ages 5 or 6) in braces. Putting young children in braces is part of a two-step orthodontic program. They get braces as really young kids, while they are losing their first teeth, and then again later on, at around age 10 or 11.
Dr. Courtney Dunn says that she doesn’t recommend this two step approach for most of her patients. In the CBS Channel 5 news story, Dr. Dunn is quoted as saying that there are a few issues that can be effectively treated at these young years but most orthodontic treatment can be left until the later grade school or junior high years.
Some of the orthodontic issues that can be remedied in younger years involve cases where there is cross bite or under-bite, or where a tooth is jutting out so far that it is damaging other teeth. Dr. Courtney Dunn says that these three issues are the primary reasons for early intervention or a two-step treatment plan. Other cases can be just as effectively managed in later childhood, starting around ages 10-12.
According to Dr. Courtney Dunn, as well as several clinical trials CBS 5 investigated, a two-phase treatment program can cost parents up to 30% more in the long run and does not result in better results for buck teeth or overcrowded teeth, which are some of the most common reasons for getting braces.
Dunn Ortho is focused on saving patients and parents time and money. Sometimes, this two-step treatment might match up with these goals, but usually it isn’t recommended. Currently, approximately 15% of patients at Dunn Ortho are having a two-phase treatment plan. For the remaining 85%, a one-step plan that involves getting braces further along the road is advisable.”I need to have a compelling reason to treat them in two phases because I want to save the patient and the parent a lot of hassle and a lot of money,” said Courtney Dunn, a Valley orthodontist.There has been confusion about whether to put younger children in braces since the American Dental Association began promoting the recommendation that children should be taken to an orthodontist for an initial evaluation at age 7. This has caused many parents to believe that the process should begin early. It has also sparked an ongoing debate in the orthodontic community.At Dunn Ortho, patients can expect to be given the most up-to-date orthodontic treatment in Phoenix. Dunn Ortho provides experienced orthodontic care to patients of all ages, with cost control and a minimum of time hassle involved. If you’d like to schedule a free initial consultation with Dr. Courtney Dunn, contact us today.
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