Early orthodontic treatment
American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive their first orthodontic screening around the age of seven. Some orthodontic conditions can be identified in children as young as four years old, making this the perfect time to begin treatment. Early orthodontic treatment can be advantageous for your child’s smile and long-term dental health. Early treatment may prevent the need for more extensive treatment in the future, and it can help your child avoid certain orthodontic conditions, such as crossbite, underbite, or overcrowding.
What are the benefits of seeking early orthodontic treatment?
When treatment is started early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Orthodontic treatment can improve speech, and it can also improve the overall appearance of the smile. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment after all the permanent teeth erupt and can reduce the likelihood of dental problems in the future.
The other benefits of early treatment include the following:
- Less complicated treatment.
- Reduced risk of trauma to protruding front teeth and possible damage to unerupted second molars.
- Easier to keep teeth clean, which can help prevent cavities and gum disease.
- Correct poor oral habits before they become permanent.
- Prevent further damage to your child’s teeth.
- Detect developmental problems early.
When to initiate early orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children see an orthodontist by seven years of age.
Phase 1, interceptive treatment
Phase 1 orthodontic treatment aims to diagnose and treat malocclusions (bad bites) at an early stage with the aim of preventing the occurrence of orthodontic problems in the future. This is usually recommended for kids children between the ages of six and ten years old when they have some of their baby teeth remaining and not all permanent teeth have erupted. This treatment takes advantage of young age with constantly developing bone and teeth.
This phase involves the use of dental appliances like a rapid palatal expander (RPE) and/or a partial set of braces to correct dental issues or prevent their occurrences in the future. Phase I treatment is usually short in duration and can range over a period of six to twelve months. After completing this phase, the child is given retainers to maintain the treatment results until Phase II treatment is ready after the eruption of all permanent teeth.
Call 34th Street Dental Care at 708-484-6576 to schedule your consultation with our dentists to learn more about our dental treatments.