Though many parents wait until well after their children’s adult teeth have grown in before exploring braces, there are many benefits to early orthodontic intervention.
In fact, most problems could be avoided in kids, when they are identified before all the adult teeth come in. Some of the issues that can be corrected effectively with early orthodontic intervention are:
- Bite alignment
- Jaw problems
- Bad dental habits
- Adult tooth alignment
By tackling these issues with tooth and bite alignment head-on, you can save time (and money) by eliminating greater orthodontic issues from your child’s future.
With a proper consultation, you can develop a game plan early to resolve a future problem and give your child the best start in life.
When problems are detected early, your orthodontist can get to work, even before the adult teeth come in. This is called a two-phase treatment.
This strategy enables your orthodontist to do the groundwork when your child is young so that the treatments with the adult teeth go by quickly and smoothly.
One of the hardest problems to correct without early intervention is an improper bite. As children grow, an incorrect bite can get worse if it isn’t guided by orthodontic methods.
Bad bites can lead to jaw problems like TMJ, unevenly worn teeth, jaw pain, and other dental problems that grow with your child.
If detected early through a consultation, however, these costly problems can be stopped in their tracks. In the end, your child will avoid future discomfort and confidence issues due to a bite that affects their looks and the functionality of their teeth. Here are some of the common bite problems that early consultations can detect.
- Overbite – The upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth.
- Underbite – The lower teeth overlap the top teeth.
- Crossbite – This is when teeth are laterally misaligned, so the top and bottom teeth don’t exactly “match”.
- Open Bite – The upper and lower teeth are unable to meet after closing the jaw completely.
Improper Jaw Size
Early orthodontic work can guide your child’s jaw to grow properly. This will make room for all the adult teeth what will soon grow in. Many kids have problems with overcrowding that can lead to future tooth extractions and crooked or slanted teeth.
However, if you detect these problems early enough with x-rays, then your orthodontist can use palate expanders to avoid removing permanent teeth in the future.
By simply making room and expanding the jaw, adult teeth won’t have to grow in crooked or be left to grow in an odd place.
This problem can also be fixed in adulthood when the teeth have grown in, with braces. However catching crooked teeth in childhood is a far more efficient process.
Therefore, through early intervention, the common problem of overcrowding and crooked teeth can be addressed early and a more non-invasive manner, sometimes eliminating the need for braces.
An early consultation can also get your child on the right track with proper orthodontic education. Learning about their current orthodontic needs and also how to prevent problems from getting bigger involves learning good dental habits. Here are just two habits that your orthodontist will advise your children to quit immediately:
- Thumb sucking– Stopping this habit will help prevent overbites from becoming more extreme and difficult to correct later on.
- Tongue pushing– When your kid pushes his tongue against his front teeth while swallowing, instead of against the gums behind the top teeth. This habit can cause your kid to develop an open bite. An open bite requires braces when teeth are fully grown in.
It All Starts With A Consultation
Meeting with an orthodontist even before your child’s full set of adult teeth have come in is a good way to assess future needs and costs.
As parents, it’s always good to be prepared financially for braces and other orthodontic procedures. Finding out if they’re even necessary or making a game plan to start saving will definitely do your wallet a favor.
If interceptive (aka preventative) orthodontic treatments can be made to prevent corrective treatments, you can save you and your child lengthy visits for corrective treatments like braces, headgear, and tooth extractions.
When the primary teeth are still in and the adult teeth are on deck, your orthodontist can get a good picture of your child’s needs and can take as many measures as possible to save you costly future interventions.
Ages 5-7 are a good time to start evaluating different teeth alignment techniques and orthodontic treatment options. Since children usually have grown enough by this age for your dentist to better predict what will happen according to X-rays and observations.
Make An Appointment Today
If you have any questions about taking your child for an early orthodontic analysis, contact us. There’s no harm in getting a consultation because regardless of the outcome, everyone benefits.
If there are problems on the horizon, they can be treated early to prevent more expensive corrective orthodontic treatments in the future.
If there aren’t any problems detected, then you will have ruled out the need for orthodontic work. Either way, you can better plan for the future and know what to expect.
Give us a call today to set up an appointment or schedule a free orthodontic consultation for your young ones.