Does My Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?
As parents, we always want to help our children’s health last for as long as it can, and keeping their smiles beautiful is no different. While dental treatment is commonly associated with pre-teens and teenagers, it is important to start planning for the welfare of our kids’ teeth long before that age. Children as young as seven years old are brought in for early orthodontic treatment and, in cases where obvious irregularities are present, have been helped at even earlier ages.
Also known as interceptive orthodontic treatment or Phase-One (Phase-Two typically begins around age 11 or older), it is most beneficial in identifying and correcting potential oral issues before they develop into more harmful or advanced problems. Here at Nelson R. Diers Orthodontics we evaluate when it is most appropriate for your kids to begin receiving orthodontic treatment. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as calling us at (513) 829-4400, to discuss your child’s first visit.
How Can I Tell When My Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic problems can sometimes go unnoticed by the untrained eye. Signs that it may be time for your child to receive early treatment include but are not limited to:
Types of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early treatments commonly fall into one of three main categories. The appropriate category and procedure is evaluated by Dr. Nelson R. Diers. Below, we will explain each treatment category and what it entails for a patient:
Preventative Treatment: The goal of this treatment is to avoid the development of malocclusion or bad bites in a growing mouth. A baby tooth may be removed if necessary, to create space for the corresponding adult tooth to erupt. On the other hand, if a baby tooth has been lost too early, a space retainer appliance will hold that space for when the adult tooth comes in.
Interceptive Treatment: This is meant to reduce the advancement of developing oral problems and eliminates their cause as soon as possible. Typically, children with a mix of adult and baby teeth are the ideal candidates. The size of the teeth can be altered, the arch can be expanded, or longstanding baby teeth can be removed to make room for erupting adult teeth.
Comprehensive Treatment: These procedures are most commonly used to correct growth irregularities. When teeth are fully misaligned, or the jaws aren’t functioning properly, orthodontic treatment may be combined with jaw surgery, restorative surgery, or tooth extraction. This treatment can begin before losing baby teeth, with several phases required for maximum effect.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Getting your child early treatment, in addition to preserving their teeth’s health, alignment, and the bite is most advantageous for their jaw. The jaw at this stage is still developing and thus not yet permanently hardened as it is for adults. This makes it easier to create space for adult teeth when necessary and correct potential issues early before they progress. Potentially harmful habits such as tongue pushing, teeth grinding, and thumb sucking can also be addressed.
Catching these problems early can make treatments later in life simpler that would otherwise be more complicated once the child grows older. It can even allow kids to avoid braces altogether, which saves money, spares the parent and child from daily maintenance/upkeep of braces, and can improve your child’s self-esteem. Kids can be just as self-conscious as adults and helping them build confidence in their smile is a goal we strive for.
To learn more about early treatment and when your child might be due for a visit, feel free to call Nelson R. Diers Orthodontics at (513) 829-4400 today.
To constantly improve the orthodontic experience with superior innovative service.
To positively affect our patients lives with an honest, trusting, and considerate orthodontic team.
To grow together in mind, heart, and spirit with superior management, emphasizing communication, encouragement, kindness, and patience.