What is early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment takes place before a child has all their adult teeth, usually when they are 8-10 years old. We can identify abnormalities early on in your child’s life and begin treatment when their teeth and jaws are easier to manipulate. This is helpful for treating a variety of orthodontic problems such as protruding teeth, crossbites, crowding, spacing and missing teeth, before more serious problems start to develop.
How do I know if my child needs early orthodontic treatment?
If you’re unsure whether your child might need to see an orthodontist, lookout for some of these telltale signs, and then book an appointment.
- Crowded, crooked, or misplaced teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Crossbites with or without accompanying jaw asymmetry
- Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Underbite or overbite
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
- Thumb and finger sucking beyond the age of 5
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
What are the benefits of early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment begins while a child’s jawbones are still developing. This means that the bones are still pliable and certain corrective procedures can work more effectively than they do for teens and adults. The right early treatment can lay the foundation for a healthy and well-functioning mouth in adulthood.
Early intervention is recommended where it can encourage a normal growth pattern of the jaws or encourage poorly positioned teeth to erupt more favourably. Early intervention is by its very nature kept to a minimum as it does not necessarily means that later orthodontic treatment can be avoided or more straightforward. Early intervention is often recommended where it will create a better environment for normal dental growth and development and despite the need for phase 2 comprehensive treatment, (such as with braces), the overall plan can be financially beneficial in the long run. Sometimes a child’s teeth may appear aligned and straight, but there could be underlying issues that need to be addressed to prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.