Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children
Early orthodontic treatment can help limit the amount of time treatment takes and set your child’s smile up for success. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children visit an orthodontist at the age of seven. This will be important in determining if your child will require orthodontic treatment.
After the initial evaluation, early treatment usually begins around the age of eight or nine. Early treatment is intended to help correct the growth of the jaw and bite problems, like underbites and overbites. This kind of treatment also helps make room for the permanent teeth to come in properly in the mouth, reducing the overall chance of future extractions.
Signs that your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment
There are many signs that your child may benefit from early orthodontic treatment. Children typically start losing their teeth around the age of five. They usually have all of their permanent teeth by age 13. If your child loses their baby teeth earlier or later than average, they may need early orthodontic treatment.
Speech impediments, protruding teeth, and mouth breathing are all signs that your child may require early orthodontic treatment. Additionally, difficulty chewing or biting, continued thumb-sucking after age five, crossbites, and crowded front teeth around age seven or eight also indicate the need for early orthodontic treatment.
What Causes Orthodontic Problems?
Orthodontic problems can be caused by many different things. These problems include jaw growth problems, excessive crowding of the teeth, protruding teeth, excess space between individual teeth, and crooked or bad bites. They can be caused by genetics, losing baby teeth too early or late, injury to the mouth, or habitual thumb-sucking.
The majority of children lose all of their baby teeth by the age of 13. By this time, their jawbone will also harden and stop growing. Orthodontic treatments for adults tend to take more time and may require tooth extraction or oral surgery. Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult.
If your child exhibits the signs of necessary orthodontic care, or if your dentist has recommended a visit to the orthodontist, you should contact us and schedule an appointment. We can schedule an initial consultation to determine the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.