The aim of early orthodontic treatment is not just to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, It also helps to make room for permanent teeth and enable them to come through properly, lessening the chance of extractions or other further dental complications in the future. The Initial treatment typically begins around age eight or nine years of age.
The second phase will begin when the child is around age 11 or older. The British Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven years old. At this point, your child will be assessed and the case will be evaluated as to whether your child will need any treatment or not?
How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment
When a child experiences early or late loss of baby teeth (children typically start losing teeth around age five, and have all the permanent teeth by age 13). Below are a list of situations that would also highlight the need for early orthodontic treatment.
- Your child continues to suck a thumb after age five
- Your child experiences difficulty in chewing or biting
- Your child develops mouth breathing
- Your child is confronted with Speech impediments
- Your child experiences protruding teeth (the top and bottom teeth extend away from each other)
- Teeth that do not come together in a normal manner or even at all
- Shifting of the jaw occurs when your child opens or closes the mouth (crossbites)
- Crowded front teeth are apparent around age seven or eight
What are the benefits of an early evaluation and possible treatment
Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time to complete and can even involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. research has shown that receiving early treatment as a child can help prevent the need for visiting an Orthodontist as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future. Which will be a much more positive outcome.
For young patients who have clear indications for early intervention, this type of treatment presents an opportunity to:
• Guide the correct growth of the jaws
• Guide erupting permanent teeth to desirable positions
• Lower the risk of traumatic injury to protruding front teeth
• Help eliminate harmful oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking which can cause open bites
• Reduce or eliminate abnormal swallowing or some speech problems
• Improve personal appearance and self-esteem
• Potentially simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later comprehensive orthodontics