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Kids Count

Early Intervention Enhances Orthodontic Effectiveness

By Amy Morgan


What comes to mind when you think about orthodontics? A middle schooler with a mouth full of braces? Orthodontics has evolved and now encompasses so much more. One fact that’s not new but certainly not well known, children ideally should see an orthodontist for the first time at the age of seven or eight, according to both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). 


This does not mean the orthodontist will fit the child with braces at that age, said Michael Roberts, D.D.S., who brings 33 years of experience to 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics. The professional will follow the patient through the years so they can identify problems as the teeth and bones grow and before they become major issues. 


“We’ll watch as the child develops so we can select optimal times for intervention instead of making a decision on a quick snapshot,” Dr. Roberts said. 90 % of the time all the teeth are present and erupting in the proper orientation, with the bones of the skeleton developing correctly. But an evaluation can pick up when the upper and lower jaws don’t fit well together, leaving an open bite or underbite, or when there is already obvious crowding or misplacement of teeth. 

“We want to intercept any skeletal disharmonies or abnormalities that would prevent a healthy smile before the pubertal growth spurt happens between ages 14-16. Once the growth window closes, we’re left with more dramatic treatments or extractions. 


“It’s easier and a better course of treatment to do things at the proper time rather than wait until the choices are limited,” Dr. Roberts said. 


Dr. Roberts joined 7to7 Dental’s practice located at the corner of Stone Oak Parkway and Evans Road five years ago after retiring from the U.S. Army. At one point, Colonel Roberts was in charge of all Army dentistry west of the Mississippi. Now he leads 7to7 Dental’s four orthodontists who are all Board Certified and proven to be competent and qualified in their specialty, he said. 


If he notices a child he is following has some severely displaced or malposed teeth presenting a physical or social problem, Dr. Roberts can recommend a special treatment protocol called Invisalign First designed for kids with mixed dentition (adult and baby teeth combined.) The Invisalign will reposition even baby teeth for a safer and more aesthetically pleasing appearance.  


He experiences few compliance issues among kids who wear Invisalign. “They like wearing them – they think they are cool,” he said. “The attachments on the teeth remind you when the appliance is not in the mouth. You take them out to eat and brush – that’s it!” 


Dr. Roberts has taken extended Invisalign training and even now is participating in an advanced Fellowship Course. 7to7 Dental itself is a Diamond Level Invisalign Provider – the highest attainable. 


Should the family decide to pursue orthodontia, 7to7 Dental has great relationships with financing companies to ensure maximum affordability. Call to schedule your free consultation today! 


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