Emily Taylor, the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA, asks, “Is your child going through the stage of replacing baby teeth with permanent teeth?” This is the time when you should check for orthodontic issues such as misaligned, crooked, or crowded teeth. And also to take them for early orthodontic treatment. Read on to know more!
What is Early Orthodontic Treatment? – An early orthodontic treatment starts in childhood. Although orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, correcting problems like gapped teeth and abnormal bites in formative years is easier. This is because the jawbones are not fully developed and hardened.
The ideal age for your kid to be taken for a first orthodontic evaluation is 7 years. At this age, your child’s adult teeth start to grow.
How Do You Know That Your Child Need Orthodontic Correction? – When your child is approaching the age of 7, you can start looking for these signs and symptoms. They might be indicators of your child needing orthodontic treatment: –
- Lower front teeth protruding the upper front teeth can be a sign of an underbite.
- It can be a crossbite if the jaw is shifting to one side.
- Gapped or crowded teeth.
- Any extra teeth or missing teeth.
- Upper teeth arch and lower teeth arch, not meeting correctly.
- Excessive thumb or pacifier sucking.
What are the Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment? – It’s a misconception that you need to wait until high school or middle school to get braces for kids. You can start their treatment sooner. And there are various benefits of early orthodontics treatment. We are mentioning some of them here.
- Corrects Speech Impediments – Malocclusion often results in speech issues that adversely affect your child’s confidence. Early intervention fixes this problem for them.
- Treats Bite Issues – A kid’s jawbone is in the growing stage. Therefore early treatment can easily resolve the bite issues due to misaligned teeth.
- Prevents Crooked Teeth – If your kids lose teeth before time, they might suffer from crooked permanent teeth. Early orthodontic treatment prevents it from happening.
- Makes Treatment Simpler – Orthodontic treatment of a child is less expensive and time-consuming. Treatment in childhood also lowers the chances for any treatment required in adulthood.
How is Early Orthodontic Treatment Done? –
Early orthodontic treatment for kids is generally done in 2 Phases, as mentioned below.
Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 1 orthodontic treatment ensures enough room for permanent teeth to erupt. That is to avoid overcrowded and crooked permanent teeth. It also treats crossbite and underbite. Orthodontists start phase 1 between 6-10 years of age when the child’s jaw is in the growing stage. This early treatment prevents the need for orthodontic corrections later in life.
The average treatment duration for phase 1 orthodontic treatment is 9-18 months. Afterward, the kids might need to wear retainers.
Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 2 is when the orthodontist decides to use braces or Invisalignaligners to complete the treatment. It starts at the age of 11-12 years and takes 12-20 months to complete. However, it can take up to 4 years in some cases. Braces and aligners are placed on your upper and lower teeth. They put gradual pressure on your teeth to correct the issues such as misalignment, spacing between teeth, overbite, underbite, etc.
The last stage of phase 2 orthodontic treatment requires the child to wear retainers to prevent teeth from going back to their old position.
You can ensure your child’s white and bright smile all lifelong by starting their oral care in childhood itself. However, early orthodontic treatment begins at a tender age. So it would be best to approach an orthodontist who is well-experienced in treating kids.