Early Orthodontic Treatment Benefits Your Child’s Growing Smile

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When your child undergoes early orthodontic treatment, it’s often because their teeth aren’t aligned properly. This misalignment can lead to poor facial development or other health issues. If your child’s jaws and facial structure don’t grow correctly, it can result in health problems that affect their sleep quality and, consequently, impact healthy brain and body development.

Tooth eruption is another concern, but our orthodontist can oversee and guide your child’s dental growth to address issues early. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that children receive their first orthodontic screening by age seven to evaluate their need for treatment. The aim is to start treatment early to correct problems before they become more complex and require more time and expense.

Treating dental problems early in children can create space for new teeth, reduce the need for tooth removals, and guide jaw growth for a balanced face. Orthodontic treatment can also address issues like snoring, mouth breathing, frequent waking, teeth grinding, bedwetting, and difficulty sleeping. It can help with speech problems, chronic headaches, colds, sore throats, and ear infections.

If baby teeth are lost, either too early or too late, it can cause crowding of the permanent teeth. Thumb-sucking can also impact your child’s smile or bite. A crossbite can influence your child’s dental alignment and may lead to gum disease and chronic pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. These issues can affect your child’s self-confidence and may result in behavioral problems.

Early orthodontic treatment occurs in two stages: Phase I and Phase II. These stages ensure your child’s adult teeth grow properly and reduce the need for future tooth removals. Phase I typically begins at about eight or nine years old, with Phase II following between ages 11 and 15.

Phase I aims to assist your child in adopting effective oral hygiene habits, addressing dental problems, aligning their bite and jaw development, and positioning their permanent teeth correctly. The objective of this initial phase is to initiate improvements in your child’s dental alignment and reduce the likelihood of future dental issues.

In Phase II of treatment, braces are used to guide your child’s permanent teeth into place and stabilize them. Getting orthodontic care at this stage can avoid needing braces as an adult (which sometimes requires tooth removal or surgery), so wearing braces as a child prevents this and shortens the time they need to wear braces.

If you’re interested in having your child’s oral growth assessed, our orthodontist is ready to assess whether treatment is necessary and create a customized plan for optimal outcomes. If you want additional information or wish to arrange your child’s orthodontic assessment with us, please get in touch by calling or visiting us today!