Treatment early on can prevent invasive procedures later in life
Does your child need orthodontic care? Looking at their smile, you might not think so. However, it takes the eyes of an experienced orthodontist to see if there are problems at hand. For example, parents may look at their young child and see perfectly straight teeth with no gaps and think that all is well; in reality, a young child should have gaps between their teeth so there is room for their permanent teeth to emerge.
Then there are problems that are just difficult to spot without training, like jaw alignment issues. As such, parents should never try to diagnose the presence or absence of orthodontic problems on their own. All children should see an orthodontist on or around their seventh birthday.
Why seven? Because at this age, significant problems should be easy to diagnose and since the child still has plenty of growing to do, the doctor can use this growth in their treatment. At this age, the first adult molars should have erupted, which means that the back bite is established. Most children, even those who do have orthodontic problems in need of correction, will not require early treatment. However, those who have problems that would require surgery or tooth extraction without early intervention will be recommended for Two-Phase treatment.
Early treatment offers significant advantages to children who need it.
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth.
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth.
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth.
- Reducing the need for tooth removal.
- Reducing treatment time with braces.
Orthodontics is about more than just an attractive smile.
Sometimes when we suggest early treatment, parents worry that it isn’t actually needed. They figure that treatment as a teenager is fine, or the issues seem small to them, and they figure that there is nothing wrong with a smile that has character. While we agree that a smile does not need to be perfectly straight to be beautiful, our concern isn’t just about how teeth look, but about how they impact a person’s health. Early treatment is only suggested for children who have significant orthodontic issues. Bad bites can cause numerous problems that impact the whole body. For example, misaligned jaws can make it harder to chew food; food that is not chewed properly is harder to digest; this then results in gastrointestinal distress. And there are many other health problems that can result from misaligned jaws and teeth.
Of course, before we know if early treatment can help your child, we need to see them in person. Schedule your free consultation today.