Early orthodontic treatment can be beneficial for treating orthodontic issues that may result in skeletal issues as a child grows. Providing your child with a healthy, happy smile in the safest way is our goal here at Family Orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can begin as early as 6 or 7 years of age. If conditions such as crossbite or overcrowding are addressed early in life, it can help your child grow into the smile of their dreams as their teeth, jaw, and mouth develop. Talk to your child’s dentist about early orthodontic treatment or come see us for a complimentary consultation!
When Should I Consider Early Orthodontic Treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking your child to the orthodontist for their first consultation by the age of 7. If your child is showing signs of a crossbite, has a thumb-sucking habit, has protruding front teeth, or has endured dental trauma from an accident or fall, it may be time to seek early orthodontic treatment. Your child’s dentist may also give you a referral to see an orthodontist if they believe early intervention may benefit your child.
Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment can be advantageous for getting ahead of orthodontic issues that may affect growth and development of the jaw and mouth. There are various conditions, such as crossbites and protruding teeth, that may inhibit proper growth if left untreated. Crossbites or protruding teeth may be a result of thumb-sucking from an early age or damage from an accident or fall. An early orthodontic approach can help resolve potential skeletal issues and aid in proper development of your child’s mouth and jaw.
Early orthodontic intervention may also be necessary if a child has lost any teeth prematurely. Losing a tooth prematurely can lead to unwanted movement, causing insufficient space for the teeth to erupt. Early treatment can allow for the teeth to grow into their environment properly, and help your child achieve the smile of their dreams.
Challenges of Early Orthodontic Treatment
One of the challenges of early orthodontic treatment is the rapidly growing pace of a child’s mouth. Sometimes, orthodontic issues can work themselves out as a child’s jaw grows and hardens into what it will be for the rest of their adult life. Your child’s dentist will be the one who evaluates whether a referral to an orthodontist is necessary.
Another challenge is that it may be difficult for younger children to maintain optimal oral health with braces. When a child is young, developing proper dental hygiene and brushing techniques is key to preventing dental issues down the road. Brackets may inhibit children from being able to properly clean their teeth while they’re still learning best practices.