Pediatricians monitor and record your child’s height and weight using a growth chart like this one. This is how they tell you what growth percentile a child falls into.
Orthodontists also monitor your child’s development. They focus on growth of the face and jaws. It is not surprising that there is a close relation to the overall body’s growth and the growth of the face and jaws. It is for this reason; orthodontic treatment timing is very important to maximize the benefits for your child.
Just like the graphic shows peaks and average timing for growth spurts during puberty for a child, the jaws have peaks and times of maximum growth too.
The two best times for orthodontic treatment in general for growing kids and teens is between 6-9 years old and adolescence through puberty. Phase I and Phase II are terms orthodontists and pediatric dentists use to talk about orthodontic treatment timing. Phase I refers to that optimal 6-9-year old time and Phase II refers to adolescence through puberty. There are situations where your child may be able to avoid a Phase I treatment and wait to do treatment in the time from adolescence through puberty. If this is the case that would be referred to as full treatment.
The more serious the problems, the more likely your child will need both a Phase I and II treatment. During your routine dental visits, Growth Assessments will be incorporated and you will be updated to how your child’s face is growing.