Waiting until your child is in their early to late teens to get braces may be a mistake. Correcting dental problems with early orthodontic treatment can help you save money and improve your child’s overall orthodontic experience.
Not every child is in need of early orthodontic treatment. Learn some of the early signs that could indicate your child may be in need of some type of early orthodontic treatment.
Signs Early Orthodontic Treatment May be Necessary
Some of the signs that could indicate your child is in need of early orthodontic treatment include:
- Teeth that appear to be growing in at weird angles or overlapping each other
- Jaws that are misaligned
- Difficulty chewing or talking due to the alignment of the mouth or jaw
- Habitual biting of the cheek
- Breathing through the mouth
- Jaws that make weird sounds, such as popping or cracking, when being moved
- Losing baby teeth too early
- Delays in losing baby teeth
What is Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment is sometimes referred to as Phase 1 orthodontic treatment or early orthodontic intervention. It is up to the dentist or orthodontist to determine which term they use, but they all describe the same type of treatment.
The goal of early orthodontics is to treat certain problems, such as overcrowded teeth or overbites, at a time when they are easier to correct. These problems are easier to correct at an early age – usually around 7 to 10 years old – because the bone in the body have not fully formed and therefore are more receptive to being shifted and moved around.
The type of treatment that is used for early orthodontic treatment will vary depending upon the problems your child needs to have corrected. Treatment options that are often used as part of early orthodontics include spacers, expanders, retainers, and braces.
After early orthodontic treatment, there will be a “rest” period for your child. The rest period allows your child’s body to continue to grow. Once the rest period is completed and your child’s permanent teeth have all grown in and settled, Phase 2 orthodontic treatment is started. This phase of orthodontic treatment shifts and realigns teeth so they are all in proper alignment.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
There are two main benefits of early orthodontic treatment: reduced time for future orthodontic treatment and it saves money.
Early orthodontic treatment can dramatically reduce the amount of time needed for future orthodontic treatment. Treatment time is reduced because people who have undergone early orthodontic treatment often do not need to undergo jaw surgery or have teeth extracted. These are popular procedures that often need to be performed when people wait until their permanent teeth have grown in to seek any type of orthodontic treatment.
In addition to reducing the amount of time it takes to complete future orthodontic treatment, early orthodontic treatment can help save you money. Future orthodontic treatment often costs less because it is less intense, shorter, and doesn’t require additional procedures such as surgeries or tooth extractions.
Want to Know if Your Child Needs Early Orthodontics? Schedule an Appointment with Your Local Pediatric Dentist
Think your child may be in need of early orthodontics? Call Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida to schedule a routine examination. During your child’s routine examination our pediatric dentists will not only conduct a complete oral examination to look for any possible dental problems, but they will assess if early orthodontic intervention is needed. If it is determined your child could benefit from early orthodontics, our dental staff will either provide treatment recommends or give you a referral to a local orthodontist.
Even if your child isn’t a candidate for early orthodontics at the time of their appointment, it doesn’t mean they will never need this type of treatment. Our dentists will assess the possible need for early interventional orthodontic treatment at every routine examination for your child. Conducting this type of assessment every examination allows us to catch orthodontic problems early on and provide quick, effective treatment for them.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a routine examination for your child.