We know, that it’s never too late to begin orthodontic treatment. But when it comes to children’s teeth, did you know that earlier consultation may be better than later?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, kids should have an initial orthodontic screening at age 7.
There are several ways that kids can benefit from seeing an orthodontist at an early age. But it’s important to understand that early evaluation isn’t necessarily followed by early treatment. In most cases, if orthodontic treatment is required, we simply monitor the child’s growth patterns until we see that it’s time for treatment to begin. This gives us an opportunity to get the best results in the most efficient way, and to help prevent future problems.
The main reasons to suggest that are:
At an early age if there is a wide disparity of tooth development, then seeking an expert’s advice is important to determine if the child would require orthodontic treatment later or not.
For all the major teeth developmental issues related to crowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc. the sooner the treatment begins it helps in giving better outcome as it acts as a support to the child’s natural growth process. Since a child’s jaw bones are still soft and they are still pliable and corrective procedures work faster and more effectively than they do for teens and adults.
In some serious cases, a child may even have to go through oral surgery later if such early-age teeth development problems are left untreated.
See Also: Should Your Child See An Orthodontist Before He Gets His Permanent Teeth?
Here are the basic 8 signs that indicate a child needs Orthodontic consultation.
- – Early, late or irregular loss of baby tooth
- – Difficulty in chewing or biting
- – Mouth breathing
- – Protruding teeth
- – Thumb sucking beyond the age of 5
- – Under bite or Over bite
- – Crowded, Crooked or misplaced teeth
- – Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
Here are the various Orthodontic treatments available for various teeth developmental issues in a child:
Severe Cross bite: It is a condition where many or all of the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. To treat this problem, a device called a palatal expander can be used, which gradually and painlessly widens the upper jaw; it’s especially effective when the jaw itself hasn’t fully developed. If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment — or even oral surgery — might be required to correct the problem.
Severe crowding: This occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Either palatal expansion or tooth extraction may be recommended at this point, to help the adult teeth erupt (emerge from below the gums) properly. Even if braces are required later, the treatment time will likely be shorter and less complicated.
Protruding teeth: Especially when the upper front tooth is protruding, it can be prone to chipping and fractures; they may also lead to problems with a child’s self-image. A severe underbite, caused by the lower jaw growing much larger than the upper jaw, can result in serious bite problems. Orthodontic appliances, including braces and headgear, can be successfully used to correct these problems at this stage, when the child’s development is in full swing, thereby increasing the chances that surgery can be avoided.
Thumb Sucking: It is a natural reflex of a child and it usually disappears between ages 2 and 4. But if it persists much later, the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw can actually cause the teeth to move apart and the jaws to change shape. This can lead to the orthodontic problem called “open bite,” and may impair speech. An open bite can also be caused by the force of the tongue pushing forward against the teeth (tongue thrusting).
Mouth breathing: It is an abnormal breathing pattern in which the mouth always remains open, passing air directly to the lungs — is related to alterations in the muscular function of the tongue and face. It may cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, which can lead to serious orthodontic problems. Although mouth breathing may start from a physical difficulty, it can become a habitual action that’s hard to break.
Various orthodontic treatments are available to help correct these para-functional habits — and the sooner they’re taken care of, the less damage they may cause. But these potential problems aren’t always easy to recognize.
That’s one more reason why you should bring your child in for an early orthodontic consultation. Visit Dr. Joy Dental Clinic or Call us at 800 DR JOY or email – [email protected] for a complimentary consultation today!