When is the Right Time to Start Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment?
Braces: A Common Part of Childhood
Braces are frequently thought of as a part of adolescence. Though the majority of pre-teens and teenagers need braces between the ages of 10 and 14, that’s not always the case. For some children, it’s recommended for them to have pediatric orthodontic treatment before all of their permanent teeth come in. To determine if a child needs early treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have their first orthodontic evaluation at the age of seven. This is because the first adult molars tend to come in right around this age.
The Importance of Early Pediatric Orthodontic Evaluation
Getting your child an orthodontic evaluation at a young age can be crucial. If your child has severe crossbites, crowded teeth, or even underbites, it might be best to address the problem before all of their adult teeth have come in. Some orthodontic issues are actually easier to fix while they are still young, as their mouth and jaw haven’t stopped growing just yet. If these issues are left alone until they are teenagers, they could very well require major surgery or other extensive treatments to repair. Because of this, it is important to get your child evaluated so you know exactly what to expect.
When the day comes for your child’s early orthodontic evaluation, there are multiple results you might get. First, the dentist might determine that no treatment is necessary and send you on your way. Second, they might tell you that treatment will likely be necessary when they are older. Third, they might determine that there is an issue that needs to be resolved before their mouth and jaw are done growing.
Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Treatment
Though the reasons for orthodontic treatment vary for everyone, there are some common signs to look for when determining whether your child will need braces.
One common issue is the irregular spacing or crowding of teeth. This can make the teeth much harder to keep clean, as well as potentially create issues with speech or even digestion.
If your child has difficulty biting into things and chewing their food properly, it could be a sign that they need early orthodontic treatment. Their stomach will greatly appreciate having properly chewed food!
A thumb-sucking habit can drastically inhibit the alignment of your child’s teeth, leading to more issues down the road. But sometimes breaking that habit is easier said than done. If your child held on to that habit for too long, it might be a sign that they need orthodontic treatment.
Did you know that speech difficulties can sometimes be the result of tooth misalignments? Bite problems can lead to speech difficulties, such as a lisp, slurring their words, whistling while they speak, or difficulty pronouncing words.
Detecting any of these issues early can prevent potential complications as your child grows! Not only will they be easier to repair while your child is young, but it could very well help their confidence. So why not give them an extra reason to show off that smile?
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Certain orthodontic issues are easier to fix before your child is done growing, which is why early orthodontic treatment for your child can save you time and money in the long run. Addressing issues while your child is still young may not mean they avoid braces as a teenager altogether, but it may shorten the duration of their treatment.
Orthodontic Experts Who Care
We here at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry are experts in early orthodontic interventions. We know that catching the issues early can not only improve your child’s self-confidence, but it can also make repairs much easier.
When your child is seven, it is important to get them evaluated for early orthodontic care. Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will need treatment! No matter the outcome, it will give both you and your child the peace of mind to know what to expect as they grow.
Solving any misalignment or bite issues early can create a positive impact on their long-term oral health and well-being. Not only will it be easier to care for their oral health as they age, but it can limit the chances of speech and digestion issues caused by misalignments.
Is your child ready for their early orthodontic evaluation? You can request an appointment easily here! We look forward to helping maintain your little one’s smile!