Does Your Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Many adults invest in orthodontic care, but what about when it comes to a child? How do you know if your child needs orthodontic treatment? At our office, we provide early orthodontic treatment to our young patients to help prevent problems later on in life such as the removal of permanent teeth or the need for corrective surgical procedures to realign the jaws. Dr. Ania’s team is highly skilled to provide you excellent orthodontic care for your child while also making sure their smile stays healthy for years to come. Learn more about early orthodontic care and see how it could benefit your child today!
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment is becoming more and more common because of how beneficial it can be for a child’s oral health. The American Dental Association tells us that orthodontic treatment and braces are used to correct bad bites. Your child’s teeth may appear straight, but the upper and lower jaws may not line up correctly, which could create problems. Your child may need early orthodontic treatment if they have difficulty chewing, speech impediments, protruding or crowded front teeth, shifting of the jaw or more. If your child shows any of these signs, early orthodontic treatment can benefit them.
Types of bites that need to be corrected include:
- Openbite – The upper and lower teeth (or the jaws) do not touch when the mouth is closed. There is a gap or opening between the rows of teeth that shouldn’t be there.
- Overbite – The upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth instead of lining up straight.
- Underbite – The lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth.
- Crossbite – The front teeth or back teeth (or both) are misaligned. Some of the teeth point more outward towards the cheek, while others point inwards towards the tongue.
- Malocclusion – Teeth that are crooked or crowded.
Phase One Treatment
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop so that it will accommodate all of the permanent teeth when they grow in. Phase One will also help improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together as this phase corrects bite problems before they become severe. Baby teeth start erupting in the mouth around 6 months of age.
Children will generally have around 20 baby teeth and will have them for years before they begin to fall out. These baby teeth will be more spaced out than adult teeth, but this is so that there is room for more permanent teeth to grow in during the adolescent years. Phase One treatment generally occurs around age 8 or 9. The time period for this care will vary depending on the severity of bite or alignment problems. It’s very common for children to receive early orthodontic treatment that is part of a two-phase treatment.
The purpose of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal aesthetic and functional results that will remain stable throughout your entire life. The second phase of orthodontic treatment will occur around age 11 or after. This phase begins when all the permanent teeth have erupted and usually requires wearing braces for an average of two years. The goal of this treatment is to ensure that all the teeth have an exact location in the mouth and that all the teeth fit correctly. When proper tooth positioning is established, the teeth will function together properly, allowing for a perfect smile.
The Benefits of Braces
The American Dental Association recommends that children receive orthodontic screening by age 7. Because the bones are still growing, it is a perfect time to see if both the jaw and bite are aligned correctly. The teeth are still developing at this age and the jaw is continuing to grow and can be guided so your teeth and jaw grow correctly. Braces in general can help decrease your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, as it’s harder to get in between the teeth. Straighter teeth are easy to keep clean, which helps keep your gums cleaner as well. Tooth decay and gum disease happen from not brushing and flossing the teeth enough. When teeth are straighter and the jaw is aligned correctly, cleaning is easier and patients tend to do it more. Braces can also straighten out a crooked smile. Studies show that a straighter smile leads to greater confidence in both children and adults. Confidence is always a great gift to give a child and you can do that through proper orthodontic care.
Plan for Early Care
Planning for early orthodontic treatment now can save your child time, money and unnecessary pain later on in life. Early caer can also prevent the removal of permanent teeth as an adult when the jaw is more set. Receiving jaw surgery is much more intense as an adult. Early orthodontic treatment is ideal for avoiding painful surgical procedures later on. If your child has any of the signs we mentioned that require early orthodontic care, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. Call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940 for your free consultation!