Benefits of Early Treatment with a Pediatric Orthodontist
Timing is everything and early intervention when it comes to orthodontic treatment can be a game changer. When it comes to your child’s teeth, visiting a pediatric orthodontist early on can be a huge benefit. Early intervention from a pediatric orthodontist means that your child will begin their orthodontic treatment while some baby teeth are still present. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and requirements of early intervention.
When Should Your Child See a Pediatric Orthodontist?
Deciding when to take your child to see a pediatric orthodontist can be confusing. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see a pediatric orthodontist by the age of 7. At this point, your child should have enough permanent teeth for an orthodontic evaluation.
While it’s recommended to see an orthodontist by the age of 7, it’s important to know that some orthodontic issues may be recognized earlier. Once your child’s permanent teeth begin to come in, an orthodontist will be able to evaluate the development of their teeth and jaws. This allows orthodontists to predict a potential issue and provide early treatment to correct the problem.
What Can I Expect?
Once your child has their initial consultation with a pediatric orthodontist, you can expect one of the following three outcomes.
There may be no treatment necessary at all.
Treatment may be needed in the future, but your child’s jaw or permanent teeth may need to grow more.
Your child may need to begin early treatment.
If your child needs early intervention before the age of 7, the following signals may be an indication to make an appointment.
Your child excessively grinds their teeth.
There are bite marks present on your child’s cheeks.
Their jaw appears to be pushed back or pulled far forward.
Your child has misplaced teeth.
Baby teeth are lost early or haven’t fallen out.
Your child has difficulty chewing.
You have a family history of orthodontic problems.
What Types of Problems Can Be Treated with Early Orthodontics?
Many orthodontic issues will need to wait to be treated until your child’s jaw has fully formed and their permanent teeth have all filled in. But, some issues should be treated by a pediatric orthodontist early to avoid long-term or serious problems. Early treatment can help intercept a problem, eliminate the cause of a future problem, guide the growth of the jaw and facial bones, or provide space for incoming permanent teeth where your child is lacking room within their mouth.
The following list represents dental problems that can be treated by a pediatric orthodontist while your child still has baby teeth:
Malocclusion or large spaces between the teeth
Teeth that fall out early or take too long to fall out
It’s important to understand that even though your child undergoes early treatment, a second course of treatment may be needed when your child gets older. Some treatments require that all permanent teeth come in before the issues can be corrected.
What Type of Orthodontic Treatment Is Common for Younger Children?
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there are several options available. The type of treatment your child will undergo relies heavily on the issue they have and how severe the issue is. Some examples of orthodontic treatment used by a pediatric orthodontist are:
Removable appliances used to move teeth, position the jaw or hold teeth in place.
Fixed appliances used to do the same mentioned above.
Removal of baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth.
Regardless of what type of treatment your child’s pediatric orthodontist suggests, the main benefit of early intervention is that is can prevent bigger problems down the road. Sometimes waiting until your child’s permanent teeth have all developed will require intense orthodontic treatment. Correcting common issues with the mouth structure and jaw can be more difficult when growth is completed. Early intervention can guide facial and jaw growth in a better direction to prevent common issues.
If you want to give your child the healthy, beautiful smile they deserve, early intervention with a pediatric orthodontist may be the key. Setting up an appointment is easy, and bringing your child in for an initial consultation comes with no obligation. Talk to a pediatric orthodontist to see if your child will benefit from early orthodontist treatment. Timing is everything! MySmile Orthodontics is here for you when the right time comes.