Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents realize as certain conditions can become progressively worse if left untreated. Our staff and doctors are happy to help you determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child.
What is early orthodontic treatment?
Though treatment can be beneficial at any age, early orthodontic treatment can prevent conditions from becoming more severe and leading to extensive treatment later on.
Early orthodontic treatment, also known as an interceptive treatment, refers to orthodontic treatment performed while primary or baby teeth are still present. The goal of this treatment is to intercept and stop the developing problem to guide the proper growth of facial and jawbones as well as provide enough space for incoming teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommends that children recieve an orthodontic screening at the age of seven. This is around the time that the back molars have erupted, and we can begin to identify any conditions or problems that may be developing.
Why should I consider early treatment for my child?
There are several advantages to receiving early orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation provides us with both timely detection and a greater opportunity for a more effective treatment. During this time, a child’s mouth and jaw are still developing allowing treatment to easily correct any misalignments. In the long run, this will allow for shorter, less extensive, and less expensive treatment.
Early treatment can correct and prevent several problems including:
- Excessively spaced teeth
- Expand upper or lower arches
- Malocclusions (underbites, crossbites, any misalignment among the upper and lower teeth)
- Overcrowded teeth
- Protruding teeth
Is treatment always necessary?
No, not all cases will benefit from early intervention. In some cases, we may monitor your child’s growth before beginning treatment and in other cases, treatment may not be necessary at all. Our staff will conduct a thorough examination to determine the optimal time for treatment.
Will my child need additional treatment later on?
Though treating problems early has the chance of reducing your child’s need for orthodontic treatment later on, your child may still need treatment once all of their permanent teeth have erupted. However, treatment is often shorter in length and less extensive.
Early orthodontic treatment enables your child to avoid lengthy procedures, tooth extractions, and extensive treatment later in life. It also sets a stable foundation for future oral health. For more information on early orthodontic treatment and our services, please contact Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey, DDS, MS, PLLC today.