Does my child need orthodontic treatment? What will be the outcome of early orthodontic treatment? How is early orthodontic treatment different from regular treatment?
These are the most popular questions that come to any parent's mind about their child's oral health.
To understand the condition of your child's oral hygiene and the requirement for orthodontic treatment, it is recommended to visit an experienced orthodontic dentist at the age of 7.
In case you're wondering, "Why this specific age?"
Because by the age of 7, your child has adequate permanent teeth. A trained orthodontist can examine and analyze your child's current dental condition- the developing teeth and the jaws to determine the need for early orthodontic treatment.
Most experienced and qualified orthodontic dentists have enough expertise to diagnose subtle dental alignment problems, even in young children.
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Early orthodontic treatment is explicitly developed for children who have primary teeth concerns. These primary teeth issues can interfere with their permanent teeth growth.
Even if the primary teeth don't entirely disrupt the growth of permanent teeth, the alignment might get affected. Your child's orthodontic dentist might suggest three different types of orthodontic treatment based on your child's dental anatomy.
A palatal expander is generally suggested by an orthodontist to widen your child's upper jaw. This creates greater space for the permanent teeth to grow and avoid crowding. The device is entirely painless and easy to use.
Additionally, your child's orthodontist can use the extra space to efficiently perform any required dental work within your child's mouth.
Partial Braces help to treat crooked teeth. Typically, your child's orthodontist will first fix partial braces on the upper and lower front teeth to achieve early correction. Later, back brackets are anchored on the molars to the back teeth for pulling and aligning the front teeth in line.
Retainers are generally a part of the final treatment stage. Retainers, as the name suggests, helps in keeping or retaining your child's aligned teeth in place. Generally, retainers are prescribed after braces so your child's teeth can continue to stay in the correct position and enjoy the long-lasting benefit of early orthodontic treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment can help in the detection and correction of the following cosmetic dental issues:
- Underbites leading to the placement of the lower front teeth ahead of the upper front teeth
- Excessive crowding or dental malocclusion
- Crossbites causing the jaw to shift to either side
- Excessively teeth spacing
- Protruding teeth
- Extra or missing teeth
- A narrow jaw
- Bite complications
- Excessive or abnormal thumb- or pacifier- sucking affects the growth and development of your child's teeth or jaw.
Some of these orthodontic concerns might be inherited. While other issues are caused by accidents, inappropriate dental habits/practices, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing techniques.
Irrespective of the orthodontic treatment process, the fundamental principle of early orthodontic treatment is that certain orthodontic issues are easier to address if they're detected and treated early.
Waiting for all the permanent teeth to appear or near completion of facial growth may complicate the treatment process.
One of the biggest advantages of detecting potential orthodontic concerns at an early stage is that dentists can easily map out the appearance of permanent teeth.
There's a substantial difference between the treatment process and outcomes when an orthodontic dentist detects any anomaly early-stage and later stages.
Early orthodontic treatment involves correcting issues with the jawbone and jaw bites. In certain cases, the crooked teeth and jaw misalignment can even be painful. With successful early orthodontic treatment, the jaw can easily be aligned in a more normal position, and the effect of a 'bite' down can be reduced to almost nothing.
Guiding and aligning the jaw can also help achieve the correct positioning of permanent teeth, even if the primary teeth are still present.
Once those primary teeth start falling out, the permanent teeth can appear and get into position perfectly without any more dental alignment issues.
During the growth period, sometimes it is natural for your child to feel under-confident. Crooked teeth and improper alignment can result in worsening self-esteem. This may lead to your child developing a negative outlook towards smiling and social interaction.
Braces enable your children to feel confident, knowing straight, beautiful teeth are on the way. Changing the colour of the elastics can make dental appointments fun and exciting for your child.
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Properly aligned and straight teeth are much easier to clean and maintain With regular brushing and flossing. This prevents the incidence of tooth decay, bad breath, and other gum diseases.
Crowded or crooked teeth are difficult to clean. You or your child may miss the edges and joints of your teeth. Improper cleaning can translate into gum disease, tooth decay issues, and several other oral concerns.
Sometimes speech concerns such as lisping, slurring, and mispronouncing alphabets may be caused due to improper jaw and teeth alignment. Early orthodontic treatment can help eliminate such problems!
Correcting the alignment of the jaw and teeth in the development stage itself is the best way to ensure this speech problem won't continue through later stages in your child's life.
If you feel your child is showing any jaw and biting problems or improper bites before the age of 7, you can always visit an orthodontic dentist.
Late detection can complicate the entire treatment process and make it lengthy and expensive. In fact, advanced orthodontic treatment like Invisalign can make the entire treatment process completely pain-free with early intervention. Your child can get back to flaunt their beautiful smile with confidence and have fun quickly. Visit the best orthodontist today for a detailed dental examination.