Orthodontist Charlotte NC

Exceptional Care, Exceptional Results

Dr. Christopher T. Harris

(704) 597-5555

Growth & Guidance Program

Our Growth & Guidance Program


A common question that parents ask is "Why do so many young kids have braces?"  At Harris Orthodontics in Charlotte, we have a very conservative treatment philosophy that can save our families time and money!  We value the opportunity to evaluate young patients to determine if early orthodontic treatment is appropriate.  The latest orthodontic research shows that state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment can most often be accomplished in a single phase of treatment that corresponds to ages 11-13.  We keep up with these changes, and getting braces in Charlotte at an early age may not be necessary!  To demonstrate our committment to appropriate treatment, we have a Growth & Guidance Program which we call the Embrace Your Smile Club.  This special club is ideal for those patients not yet ready for orthodontic treatment and it allows us to monitor your child's growth and development so that we can determine the most appropriate time to address the problems identified.  We encourage you to bring your child to see us for an evaluatation by age 7 so that we can give your child the best opportunity to have an exceptional smile without the fuss of multiple rounds of braces!

Dr. Harris: A Charlotte Orthodontist Providing Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

You want the best for your child, and so do we. At Harris Orthodontics, we understand the unique orthodontic needs of children and provide treatments to prevent and remedy problems with the teeth and jaws. Early intervention is often necessary to correct the following conditions and may prevent your child from needing orthodontic treatment at a later stage of development:

  • Inadequate space for permanent teeth to emerge
  • Bite misalignment
  • Improper jaw growth
  • Teeth that are widely spaced or crowded
  • Problems caused by thumb sucking and other habits
  • Early or late tooth loss
  • Oral damage from injury

Orthodontic Assessment

Dr. Harris is a leading Charlotte orthodontist who delivers personalized, patient-focused care. He concurs with the recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists that children receive an orthodontic evaluation as early as age 7.

Your child's orthodontic assessment will include a gentle, yet thorough, examination to assess current dental development. Dr. Harris will check to see if tooth eruption is on track and evaluate occlusion, which is the way top and bottom teeth fit together. Crossbite, underbite, and overbite can be corrected with proven, conservative therapy. If space isn't available for permanent teeth to erupt into their proper positioning, the doctor will develop a customized course of action to comfortably and efficiently create space for adult teeth.

Treatment Phases

Typically, early treatment (also called Phase One) begins when kids reach age 8 or 9. Phase Two treatment, if needed, occurs when kids are around age 11 or older. The goal of early intervention of orthodontic problems – what we call our Growth & Guidance Program – is to treat them once and treat them right. Dr. Harris strives to remedy problems in the most conservative manner possible and in a way that limits the time a child undergoes orthodontic treatment.

Does Your Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?

An evaluation by Charlotte orthodontist Dr. Harris will identify potential or existing issues. The following conditions may be signs that your child would benefit from the Growth & Guidance Program created by the Dr. Chris Harris at Harris Orthodontics:

  • Premature or late loss of baby teeth (kids typically begin losing teeth around age 5 and receive all of their permanent teeth by age 13)
  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking that continues after age 5
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Crossbite, underbite, or overbite
  • Crowded front teeth at around age 7 or 8
Typically, early treatment (also called Phase One) begins when kids reach age 8 or 9. Phase Two treatment, if needed, occurs when kids are around age 11 or older.

Why Treat Kids at an Early Age?

By the time children reach their teen years, jawbone tissue begins to harden. At this point, it's more difficult, uncomfortable, and time-consuming to implement therapies to change jawbone structure and move teeth. Orthodontic treatment on adult jaws may require tooth extraction or oral surgery. Treating certain problems in the early stage minimizes treatment time, contributes to more comfortable treatment, and may prevent your child from needing orthodontic care as an adult.

Call Today!

Harris Orthodontics offers two locations to serve you. Contact our SouthPark office or University office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Harris. We’re pleased to provide outstanding service and personalized orthodontic care to residents of Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis, SouthPark, and surrounding communities.

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