Early braces are indicated for those kids whose permanent front teeth are erupting in wrong position. The advantages of early treatment are short duration of treatment and simplicity. Braces are placed wherever necessary.
At the age of 7, one of Alice's front teeth is crooked (Fig.2: 2, lateral incisor). Top and bottom midlines do not match (Fig.1 dashed lines). Braces are needed to fix these two issues.
Four months into the braces, the bottom teeth are pretty straight (Fig.3). A spring (^) is placed between central incisor (1) and baby canine (C) to create space for the displaced tooth. Another month later, the space appears to increase, but it is not enough (Fig.4). The progress is slow. Later the canine is found to be loose. It is extracted (Fig.5 C). There is plenty of space for the displaced tooth to move. In 3 weeks, it does (Fig.6).
Four months after canine extraction, everything is done, including creating space for permanent canine. Braces are gone. The bottom teeth are straight. Midlines are on (Fig.7, dashed lines). Retainer is installed. A special portion of the retainer is to keep the space for the permanent canine (Fig.8 <). Without this special device, the permanent canine may not have space to erupt normally.
Five months later, the retainer is loose. Alice's mom insists upon removing it. Anyway, the bottom teeth are still straight. The midlines remain on (Fig.9).
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 08/11/2012, last revision 08/13/2012