We understand that you want the best for your child, including a beautiful smile. Braces are often a great solution for early dental issues to create the smile of your child’s dreams. While children of any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends scheduling their first appointment around the age of seven.
When children are around this age, they usually have a mix of both adult and baby teeth. When some baby teeth are still present, this correction is known as early treatment or interceptive treatment. When baby teeth are still present, it often makes it easier for the doctor to diagnose and correct any problems with the teeth and jaws without surgery.
The Benefits of Early Treatment
Early treatment comes with many advantages. When a dental issue is diagnosed early on, it makes it much easier for the orthodontist to correct it. The main goal of early treatment is to intercept any developing problems early on, eliminate the cause, and guide the correct growth of the jaw and facial bones. Overall, early treatment helps to:
- Correct and guide the growth of a child’s jaw, which helps their permanent teeth to grow in straight.
- Balance the width of the upper and lower arches.
- Create space for crowded teeth.
- Prevents to need for tooth extractions later in life.
- Stops thumb-sucking and helps to improve minor speech issues.
Some of these issues may be inherited, while others may be the result of accidents, abnormal swallowing, or dental disease. Early treatment may take many different forms, depending on your child’s unique orthodontic issues. Some orthodontists may place a removable appliance to move the teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold the teeth in place. Other times, an appliance is not necessary.
Signs Your Child Should See an Orthodontist
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your child needs orthodontic treatment. Here are some signs that you should look out for:
- Difficulty chewing or biting food.
- Early or belated loss of baby teeth.
- Mouth breathing.
- Crowded or blocked teeth.
- Teeth that do not come together, or come together unusually.
- Jaws that make sounds when opening or closing the mouth.
- Jaws or teeth that are disproportionate to the rest of the face.
- Tooth crowding around the age of seven or eight.
It is important that you seek out an orthodontist if you notice your child has any of these issues. If left untreated, these orthodontic problems will generally become worst. This can eventually lead to tooth decay, gum disease, the deterioration of bone that holds teeth into place, loss of teeth, difficulties chewing, or the wearing away of tooth enamel.
If you believe that your child may be able to benefit from early treatment, contact our office today. The first step is to schedule a consultation appointment, which will help us to determine the best treatment option for your child.