Early Treatment With Braces For Kids
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, around age seven is the perfect age for a child’s first orthodontic screening—about the same time many kids get their first adult molars. Why so young, you ask? Because at that age, it is easier to catch and correct any concerning issues while the mouth is still growing and the body can adapt to changes. In most cases, you can prevent relatively simple problems from turning into major ordeals by intervening with early orthodontic treatment, also known as Phase I Treatment.
Early treatment refers to orthodontic care that is initiated before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. In most cases, early treatment is recommended for children between the ages of six and ten. Some common problems that early treatment can correct include spacing, bite irregularities, and issues with jaw development. Early treatment can also make future orthodontic care less complicated and more effective.
Early treatment aims to intercept problems while they are still relatively minor and prevent them from worsening over time. In some cases, this may involve using expanders or other appliances to correct the position of the teeth and jaws. In other cases, it may mean waiting to begin treatment while monitoring the child’s growth and development so that any necessary treatment can be initiated at the appropriate time.
We at Charleston Orthodontics Powered By Smile Doctors believe that early treatment is the key to a lifetime of healthy smiles. We can prevent more serious issues from developing by intercepting problems early on. We encourage you to contact our office to set up a consultation if you’re curious to learn more about early orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions, our knowledgeable team will be pleased to assist you in deciding whether or not beginning orthodontic treatment is the best course of action for your child.
Common Signs Your Child May Need To See An Orthodontist
There are a few stand-out reasons why beginning orthodontic treatment early would be beneficial. For example, if the patient has:
- A crossbite
- An underbite
- Thumb or finger-sucking habit
- Consistent mouth breathing
- An overbite or overjet
- Severe crowding of the teeth
- Prematurely loss of baby teeth or missing permanent teeth
- A tongue thrust
Our goal is to prevent the extraction of permanent teeth. With Phase I treatment, we are often able to create the room necessary or correct the issues that would warrant extractions later in life.
Life With Braces
It’s important to remember that if your child needs braces, the benefits of treatment far outway the temporary lifestyle changes your child may need to make. Braces treatments typically last between one and two years. Your child needs to be vigilant about brushing and flossing their teeth at this time and keeping up with scheduled orthodontic appointments. They must also avoid hard candies, gum, and other foods that can harm their braces. At their initial appointment, our team will fully review all the tips and tricks your child needs to know in order to keep their braces in tip-top shape!
While early treatment with braces may seem like a lot to take on, it is essential to remember that it can effectively prevent more severe problems down the road. If you are concerned about your child’s oral health, contact Charleston Orthodontics Powered By Smile Doctors to set up a consultation!