Having crooked teeth is not the only reason to see an orthodontist! The American Association of Orthodontics and Canadian Association of Orthodontics recommend that children should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. Even when teeth look straight, a child may have underlying problems!
In certain children interceptive or early treatment is indicated. Early intervention can prevent more serious and irreversible problems in future and may even eliminate the need for braces. It is crucial that every child sees the orthodontist for a consultation.
Early treatment usually entails the use of orthodontic appliances that help in guiding the growth of jaw bones that are still developing and it helps in creating an amiable environment for the permanent teeth as they erupt. In most cases the orthodontist can achieve results that are not possible once the facial structure and the jaw bones have finished growing. Early treatment helps in the following:
- Guides the jaw growth
- The protruded front teeth are aligned, leading to reduced trauma
- It helps in removing bad habits like thumb sucking or lip wedging
- Early treatment boosts self-confidence because it enhances appearance
- The permanent teeth are guided into a better position
- It helps in improving the way lips meet
What do orthodontists recommend?
Orthodontists recommend that all children should have an orthodontic examination no later than age 7. An experienced orthodontist can easily make out if your child has any developmental issues and whether he or she needs any intervention. If an issue such as crowding, overbite, underbite or loss of teeth due to accidents is detected at an early stage, with the implementation of orthodontic treatment, problems can be managed with the appropriate and natural course of therapy.
The orthodontist will carefully monitor your child’s dental development as the treatment continues. This monitoring will give you a peace of mind especially when you are not clear as to whether there is any issue or a problem that you may have overlooked and which might have required an intervention.
What are the indications for an early treatment?
Your child will benefit from early treatment if he or she is suffering from any of the following problems:
- He or she has lost baby teeth earlier than normal
- Your child is unable to chew food properly
- Breathing through the mouth
- Thumb sucking. This is one of the most notorious problems that can create facial abnormalities.
- If the teeth are over-crowded, misaligned or misplaced
- Jaws that are protruded far too back or forward
- If the child is biting into the cheek or on the roof of the mouth
- If the front teeth are not meeting in a normal fashion or they are meeting in an abnormal way
- A distorted facial harmony
- Grinding teeth
How is your child evaluated for early treatment?
The orthodontist will first identify your child’s orthodontic problem. After thorough examination they will tell you when it is the best time to begin the treatment. They will also tell you about different treatment options available.
Overall, early treatment has a large number of benefits. It will improve your child’s smile at a young age and boost their self-confidence, while ensuring that growth and development are monitored to optimize oral health.