EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Early childhood orthodontic treatment is essential in establishing proper growth and development. The earlier an issue can be caught, the easier it can be fixed. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) states that children should see an orthodontist at age 7. the Orthodontist will at this initial consult determine and diagnose any abnormal findings of the growth and development of the teeth and jaws and recommend if any treatment is necessary at this time or not. Most often than not a treatment at this age is required to prevent an abnormal growth of both jaws and teeth.
This early treatment is designed to help correct the growth of the jaws and bite problems such as crossbites and jaw constrictions, deep bite, under bite, crowding and ectopic eruptions among others. With proper early treatment, we are able to make room for permanent teeth to come in and find their place properly, helping to avoid future complications at a later age.
Does My Child Need Orthodontics?
As mentioned above all children should visit an orthodontist at age 7, regardless of warning signs. There are, however, some signs that should be watched out for. Many of the things that require children to receive orthodontic care are listed below.
- Teeth that protrude (i.e. bottom and top teeth extend away from one another)
- Teeth that simply do not meet together or that do not meet in a normal way
- Children whose jaws shift when opening or closing the mouth, also known as a crossbite
- Teeth that are crowded in front at ages of seven or eight
- Children experiencing either late or early loss of baby teeth.
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Breathing difficulties such as Mouth Breathing, Snoring, Dry and puffy gums.
- Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
- Children with speech impediments
Will Early Prevention Help My Child?
There are many issues that can cause orthodontic problems. Things like too much space between teeth, jaw growth issues, improper bites, protruding teeth, and more can be caused by a variety of factors. Whether passed down through genetics, caused by injury directly to the mouth, developed from bad habits like thumb-sucking, or early or late loss of baby teeth among others.
Once a child loses all their baby teeth usually by age 12-14 (Dental Development) and reaches the end of their teen years, the jaws harden and cease growth (Skeletal Development) orthopedic corrections at the end of this developmental stage are very difficult to achieve. Due to this, orthodontic procedure designed for adults usually take quite a bit more time. furthermore there is also a higher likelihood of more comprehensive treatments needs such as extractions of teeth or even orthognathic surgery. Thus Early orthodontic treatment as a child can help avoid the need for more comprehensive orthodontics as an adult, then again emphasising the need for an early diagnosis.
Contact our office to set up an appointment that meets your schedule. We will provide your child an initial exam and will discuss with you the best possible steps to ensure a happy and healthy smile.