In many situations, the earlier we catch problems with your child’s bite or jaw development, the simpler those problems may be to fix. Early treatment can often result in better treatment outcomes. In some situations, we may be able to avoid the need for extraction of adult teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children visit an orthodontist as soon as their dentist notices that there might be a problem or before they are seven years old. We may not need to do anything at this age, other than monitor your child’s dental growth and development. However, if there is an issue that should be addressed early, we will have the opportunity to recommend that treatment at the appropriate time.
You may wonder why the AAO emphasizes age seven. At that age, the first adult molars are coming in and helping establish the back bite. Also, the adult incisors (front teeth) are starting to come in. We can start to evaluate your child’s bite, both the front-to-back and side-to-side relationships.
Early treatment allows us to do the following:
- Make room for the permanent teeth when there is overcrowding
- Correct the width of a narrow jaw (expansion)
- Reduce the likelihood of trauma when the front teeth are protruding
Also, early treatment may reduce the need to remove adult teeth and the time patients must wear braces. Though many people don’t believe in orthodontic treatment, without it you may have to deal the following problems according to AAO studies:
- Cross-bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
- Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Whereas with early orthodontic treatment, you may have the following benefits:
- A healthier mouth as crowded teeth can be hard to brush, resulting in cavities and gum disease
- Fewer fractured teeth since protruding teeth are more likely to be traumatized
We truly believe that orthodontic care is about more than just a pretty smile. We believe that it makes you healthier and will give you better self-esteem. If you have any questions about orthodontic care, don’t hesitate to contact us today.