The Canadian Orthodontic Association recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 – or earlier if there are signs of orthodontic problems. Dr. Li performs these evaluations on her patients and can provide any care needed in early childhood. While orthodontic care can be provided at any age, some treatments are most effective and require the least treatment time if performed in childhood, while the jaw is still growing. Ninety percent of the face is formed by age 12. If a patient begins orthodontic care when the adult teeth come in at age 11 or 12, it may be too late to correct improper development.
Through early childhood evaluations, Dr. Li can determine the optimal time for each patient’s care and can provide early intervention if needed. Sometimes a child’s mouth isn’t ready for braces, so the child will have annual or bi-annual appointments with Dr. Li until she recognizes the optimal moment to begin treatment.
Two Phase Treatment
Some children need a two-phase approach to orthodontics. In early childhood (ages 5-12), they require a functional appliance which can address the following problems:
Then in phase two (ages 12-14), these patients wear braces. There are several advantages to the two-phase treatment plan:
Dr. Li offers the Biomers system of clear braces. The wires, brackets, and retainers are all completely clear, creating a system that is just as effective as all-metal braces, but less obtrusive and more aesthetically pleasing. If you’ve been hesitant about braces because of their appearance, this is the option for you!
Dr. Li also offers unique self-ligating braces that don’t require the elastic or metal ties which usually hold the archwire in place using friction and pressure. Instead, self-ligating braces use a unique design that allows the archwire, made of a revolutionary thermal nitanium material, to slide – making the braces more comfortable. The archwire “remembers” its original shape and as it tries to regain it, gently moves a patient’s teeth into position. The self-ligating system avoids painful tightening of the braces, requires fewer office visits, is smaller and less noticeable, and shortens treatment time by as much as six months compared to traditional braces.
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