Though most parents associate braces with pre-teens and teenagers, early orthodontic treatment can sometimes be a much more effective method of straightening teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit an orthodontist by the age of 7. This does not mean that children should start treatment.
By going to the orthodontist by age 7, an orthodontist can check for growth patterns in the teeth and also monitor the development of jaw structure. With better technology and understanding, orthodontists can evaluate for any possible problems in the future and can provide solutions earlier, when a child’s teeth are still growing in order to create more efficient results.
Many orthodontist offer free consultations, so that first visit during the evaluation does not have to come out of your pocket.
Signs that Your Child Could Benefit from an Orthodontic Consultation
- Crowding of the teeth
- Overbite or crossbite
- Excessive grinding of teeth
- Premature or late loss of primary teeth
- Abnormal growth in the jaw
If you notice or see early signs of any of the issues above, it would benefit a quick visit to the orthodontist. At the end of the day, many of these can only be truly diagnosed by a professional. Even a family, pediatric or general dentist does not have the complete training to catch these developments.
When you are at your visit, Dr. Dan Gehani, or whatever orthodontist you go to will be able to get an understanding of possible problems and to confer with you and the family.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
The advent of orthodontic technology have made treatments more nimble and less invasive. Where in the past, the only solution to fixing crowding was to extract teeth. However, new advances have provided more solutions.
Some of these include the palatal expander which helps expand the size of the jaw, providing more space for all the teeth to grow in. By utilizing these early orthodontic treatments, it capitalizes on early signs of orthodontic problems, while utilizing the period of a child’s life where their jaw and teeth are still growing. Because of this growth period, the teeth and jaw are more able to grow and shift to the positions that will help correct a smile.
Starting orthodontic treatment early allows for earlier corrections that can greatly expedite orthodontic treatment in the future. By catching problems early, orthodontist can start addressing symptoms that were to grow into bigger problems and may require extensive orthodontic solutions.
It’s important to note that early orthodontic treatment does not mean your child won’t need braces or orthodontic treatment later. Rather it is a primer that helps make orthodontic treatment in the future faster, less involved and more effective.
Finally, early orthodontic treatment is not needed for everyone. It is something that is dependent on certain symptoms or conditions that may arise. Therefore, there is no need to elect or push for treatment. Dr. Dan and the staff will help you navigate whether or not your child could benefit from starting early orthodontic treatment.
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Dr. Dan offers free orthodontic growth check-ups to children ages 7 and up. For more information, click here.
If you are considering visiting an orthodontist or getting braces, feel free to contact us through call or text!