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The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids see an orthodontist around age 7 years old. Our early orthodontics treatments can help to reduce or eliminate problems later in life as well as treat those that have already emerged. The goal is to correct the smallest problems to prevent them from becoming big ones later on.

Does every child need treatment at age 7?

No. In fact, Dr. Delplanche takes a conservative approach to early treatment and he only recommends the same treatment he would want for his own kiddos!

What problems should I look for to determine if seeing an orthodontist is needed?

There are several problems a parent can look for in their growing child to determine if orthodontic treatment might be needed. There are a lot of changes that occur between the time your child loses their first tooth and when all the permanent teeth have erupted. Getting an assessment early-on helps to ensure that your child has the proper facial balance and beautiful smile as they continue to grow.

Here are some problems to look for to help determine if your child should see an orthodontist.

  • Your child lost his or her baby teeth earlier or later than average

  • The teeth seem to be too close together, in the wrong place, or are blocked

  • When the mouth is closed, the teeth do not come together correctly

  • Your child’s jaws and teeth seem to be out of proportion compared to other facial features

  • Chewing and biting food is difficult

  • He or she breathes through the mouth instead of the nose

  • Thumb and finger sucking was relied on for comfort after teeth emerged

  • The jaws pop when opening or closing

What is ‘Phase One & Phase Two’ treatment?

When a patient needs two phases of treatment, it means there will be two separate parts to your orthodontic journey. We try to avoid this when possible, but in many cases this is needed for the best results. The goals of Phase I treatment are to intercept an orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. Phase I is typically done when a child is still growing and can turn a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This phase of treatment is usually around the age of 7-9. Dr. Delplanche typically recommends Phase I when waiting could cause orthodontic problems to worsen. Phase II treatment is typically done when all the permanent teeth have erupted and serves to properly align the teeth, which cannot be achieved when baby teeth are present. Overall, the cost for treatment for a patient who needs two phases of treatment will be higher because there is more treatment needed, however it does not cost double, and does not take double the time. Often times, a patient who needs two phases of treatment, finds that the second phase is quicker and easier due to having completed a first phase.

Will spacers be needed for braces or appliances?

About a week before braces are applied, the orthodontist may insert “spacers” between back molars. These create space between the teeth for bands that go around the back molars. Dr. Delplanche will help determine if these are needed for your child’s individual treatment plan.

What is Observation?

This is what we call our complimentary growth and development program to help you stay informed about your child’s dental development. Once we have seen your child for their first visit, we will want to continue to see them every six to twelve months to monitor their growth and development. These free assessments include a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Delplanche as well as x-rays and photos as needed. These appointments are part of your routine dental health check-up and typically include a high-five to encourage your child to keep up the great job with their home hygiene. But, sometimes treatment is needed to correct a bigger problem from developing in the future.

What is Invisalign First?

The technology behind the aesthetic Invisalign aligners that are very common with teenagers and adults can also be used on children. There are certain orthodontic problems that are better fixed at a younger age to help prevent them from becoming bigger problems later on. There are advantages to using Invisalign First for your child, which Dr. Delplanche can help you determine.
If you have any concerns or just want to see how your child is developing, give us a call. It’s a complimentary meeting with no strings attached.
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Treatment Options


Clear aligners made specifically for young and growing patients!


Usually limited to the front teeth, with fun colors to choose at every appointment!


Correct certain bite problems and influence growth.


Periodic visits to monitor growth and provide guidance.


Are you ready to invest in your smile? Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Delplanche today!

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We had an initial consultation the other day for our two boys and it couldn’t have gone better. The entire staff was kind and welcoming which means a lot to parents and made young children feel comfortable. The dr. was honest about what our kids needed and what timeline we should expect. Never felt like we were getting up sold, our kids health was the dr’s priority
- Chris A., Dad
Great with kids. Very conscientious and comprehensive with great patient education. Models treatment based not just on the patient’s dental treatment needs but based on the patients ability of the patient to be compliant. Great supporting team as well.
- Cynthia J., Mom
Dr. Delplanche and his staff spend quality time with you. My son who has been nervous at other medical providers’ offices feels very at ease and comfortable here. I like their comprehensive approach, without rushing into treatment. Making appointments is a breeze, my questions are always answered in a way that both my ten year old and I both understand. Their billing process was smooth and the staff is knowledgeable.
- Natasha C., Mom