EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN
What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment, and why might my child need early treatment? How will early treatment benefit my child in the long run?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. At this point the orthodontist will evaluate your child for moderate to severe crowding and any irregular jaw relationships.
Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine. The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of tooth removal in the future.
WHAT CAUSES ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS, AND HOW WILL EARLY TREATMENT BENEFIT MY CHILD?
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, please contact our office. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.