What Are The Benefits Of Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Taking care of your child’s teeth right from the childhood can save you a lot of money and trouble later on. Periodic dental visits are recommended to detect and treat cavities and other tooth and gum diseases. At the same time, you should schedule an orthodontic appointment as soon as the child turns seven. This is the time when a specialist can evaluate the existing as well as upcoming teeth and identify the need for present or future treatment. Now the big question is whether early orthodontic treatment does really bring any additional benefits. Let’s explore more about the significance of partnering with an expert right from your child’s early years.
Orthodontic Treatment: When is the right time to start?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child’s first orthodontic visit should start as early as at the age of seven years. A first-time assessment will give you a fair idea about the need for orthodontic treatment at present or in future. The orthodontist will give you two options- Phase One treatment and Phase Two treatment. Phase One treatment refers to early treatment strategy that starts at the age of eight or nine years. Phase Two, on the other hand, is initiated when the child is aged eleven or more. The specialist will evaluate the child’s existing teeth as well as check out the future growth and recommend the treatment timing accordingly.
When is early orthodontic treatment needed?
Early orthodontic treatment is needed in some special cases. Orthodontists Atlanta and other states recommend early initiation in the following cases:
- Early or delayed loss of milk teeth (typically, milk teeth start going at around five years of age and permanent teeth comes at around thirteen years)
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty in biting and/or chewing
- Speech problems
- Thumb sucking even after the age of five years
- Protruding teeth
- Crowded front teeth at the age of seven or eight years
- Crossbites (shifting of the jaw while opening or closing the mouth)
- Teeth not coming together at all or in a normal manner
An early visit to the orthodontist helps him identify any of these problems and start working get them resolved. When the child has grown the first permanent molars, the specialist can easily evaluate and predict a developing malocclusion (bad bite). Similarly, problems such as crowding, crossbites, open bites and deep bites can be identified when the child presents with the first incisors. Early detection does not mean that you will have to start the treatment straightaway. Sometimes, the orthodontist may recommend waiting until a few years after the initial evaluation.
Benefits of early orthodontic treatment
The benefits of early orthodontic treatment for children are many. Primarily, it enables the correction of serious bite-related issues right from the young age. It also guides the jaw’s growth pattern so that it supports proper growth of future teeth and gives plenty of space for the proper positioning of the permanent teeth. Parents who decide to take up an early treatment are able to save their money and get better results within a shorter time span. Delayed treatment, on the other hand, may aggravate the complication and make the treatment more traumatic for the child. In some case, misaligned teeth cause appearance issues and the child can suffer from social distress. Timely resolution can have a positive impact on the self-esteem of the child. Additionally, it promotes proper oral hygiene as the child will be able to clean his or her teeth better after the correction.
Seeing the extensive benefits of early orthodontic treatment, it is advisable that you schedule your child’s first checkup sooner rather than later. Timely treatment will be beneficial for both, you and the child.