growth and development


Orthodontic Care For Your Growing Needs

Early Treatment

When should I see an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics along with the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child see an orthodontist by the age of 7. When a child is 7 years old, the permanent molars and some permanent incisors have usually erupted by this time. This allows orthodontists to evaluate the patient’s bite to see if early treatment is recommended. There are many situations when early treatment (also known as Interceptive Treatment or Phase 1 Treatment) can be beneficial. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct earlier on when a child is still growing and developing. Early treatment may prevent the need for permanent teeth extractions and surgical corrections later on. With this being said, not every child will require early treatment. Just like one shoe size does not fit all, not every patient will need early treatment. In this circumstance, Drs. Hamanishi and Cho will continue to monitor the patient until treatment is recommended.

Call us at (403) 452-4611 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.

What is early treatment?

Here are some examples of early treatments that Drs. Hamanishi and Cho could recommend:


In a normal, healthy mouth, the top teeth sit outside of the lower teeth (in other words, your lower teeth fit inside your top teeth). When there is a crossbite, the opposite of what is normally suppose to occur happens; the lower teeth sit outside of the upper teeth. Crossbites are easily corrected when a patient is growing and the bone is malleable (soft). Crossbites are more difficult to treat later when the bone is solidified.

Partial braces

A child may benefit from partial braces. During this treatment option, partial braces are placed to alleviate crowding and create more space for crowded teeth.

Functional appliances

These appliances are recommended by Drs. Hamanishi and Cho to utilize the patient’s remaining growth to decrease/eliminate a skeletal discrepancy in the jaws. These appliances can correct and guide the growth of the jaws in a proper position.

Space re-gaining

There are times when a baby tooth is lost earlier than it should be. In these situations, the neighboring teeth can shift into the spot of the tooth that was lost early. With this option, we can re-gain the space that was lost and move the shifted neighboring teeth into their correct position.

Early extraction of baby teeth

There are times when a baby tooth does not fall out. This occurs when the replacing permanent tooth is missing or not growing in the correct direction to push baby tooth out. In these cases, we may recommend that a baby tooth be taken out so that the permanent tooth can try to re-direct itself into the proper direction.

Habit breaking appliances (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting)

Habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can have an adverse effect on the normal growth of the jaws and teeth. Prolonged habits can create jaw/teeth discrepancies such as narrow upper arch, crossbites, open bites (upper and lower teeth unable to contact), flared teeth, and increased overjet. We will review different options for habit breaking appliances.


The upper and lower jaws grow at different rates. Sometimes the upper jaw growth can slow or get stuck, creating an “underbite”. This underbite (where lower jaw sticks out further than upper jaw) can be corrected during early treatment with a facemask.

Alignment of flared front teeth

Phase 1 partial braces will benefit patients with flared front permanent teeth who are more at risk for dental injuries to the front teeth. This treatment can also enhance one’s self esteem.

Smile With Confidence!

Call for your Complimentary Consultation (403) 452-4611