How Are Early Orthodontic Plans Tailored to Individual Needs?

At Riverview Orthodontics, early orthodontic treatment sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. By addressing orthodontic issues at a young age, we can guide the growth and development of your child’s jaws and teeth, preventing more severe problems down the road. However, every child is unique, so we tailor our early orthodontic plans to meet each patient’s needs. 

The Importance of Early Orthodontic Evaluation

Children should have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven, according to The American Association of Orthodontists. At this stage, your child will have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, allowing us to assess their dental development and identify any potential issues. Early evaluation doesn’t necessarily mean immediate treatment; instead, it gives us the opportunity to monitor your child’s growth and intervene at the optimal time.

During the initial evaluation, Dr. Mike Upton will examine your child’s teeth, jaws, and facial structure to determine if early treatment is necessary. Some common issues that may benefit from early intervention include:

  • Crowding or spacing problems
  • Misaligned jaws
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Crossbites, underbites, or overbites
  • Thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting

By addressing these concerns early on, we can create a more favorable environment for your child’s permanent teeth to erupt, reducing the need for more extensive treatment later in life.

How Are Early Orthodontic Plans Tailored to Individual Needs?

Customized Treatment Plans

At Riverview Orthodontics, we understand that no two smiles are the same. That’s why we create personalized treatment plans to cater to your child’s specific needs and goals. Our experienced team will consider factors such as your child’s age, jaw growth, tooth development, and overall oral health when designing their early orthodontic plan.

Some of the treatment options Dr. Mike Upton may recommend include:

Phase I Treatment

Phase I, also known as interceptive treatment, is designed to guide jaw growth and create space for incoming permanent teeth. This phase typically begins between the ages of 7 and 10 and may involve using appliances such as palatal expanders or partial braces. By intervening early, we can often reduce the complexity and duration of future orthodontic treatment.

Space Maintenance

If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, we may recommend a space maintainer to prevent neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty space. This simple appliance helps preserve the proper alignment of your child’s teeth, ensuring permanent teeth have enough room to erupt.

Habit-Breaking Appliances

Harmful oral habits, such as thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting, can lead to misaligned teeth and jaws. Our team can design custom habit-breaking appliances to help your child break these habits and promote proper oral development.


After completing Phase I treatment or addressing specific concerns, we may prescribe retainers to maintain the results achieved. Retainers help prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions and ensure that your child’s smile stays on track.

How Are Early Orthodontic Plans Tailored to Individual Needs?

Ongoing Monitoring and Communication

Early orthodontic treatment is a collaborative process between our team, your child, and you as the parent. We believe in maintaining open lines of communication to ensure that everyone is informed and comfortable with the treatment plan.

Throughout your child’s early orthodontic journey, we’ll schedule regular check-ups to monitor their progress and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. These visits allow us to assess your child’s response to treatment and ensure their smile develops as expected.

We also encourage you and your child to ask questions and express any concerns you may have. Our knowledgeable team is always happy to provide guidance and support, helping you feel confident in your child’s orthodontic care.

How Are Early Orthodontic Plans Tailored to Individual Needs?

Set Your Child Up For a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

We’re passionate about helping children achieve their best smiles at Riverview Orthodontics in the Demopolis or Tuscaloosa area. By tailoring orthodontic plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, we can create a strong foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health and self-confidence.

If you’re concerned about your child’s dental development or would like to schedule an early orthodontic evaluation, contact Riverview Orthodontics today. Dr. Mike Upton and our friendly team are here to guide you and your child through every step of the orthodontic journey, ensuring a positive experience and exceptional results.