Early orthodontic treatment, also sometimes called interceptive treatment, is orthodontic care that begins while your child still has a mix of baby and permanent teeth. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, parents should bring their child to see an orthodontist at the first sign of alignment issues, or by the age of seven.
This timing allows treatment to begin while a child’s teeth and bone tissue are still developing. When there are areas of concern, treatment can begin before all permanent teeth are fully emerged. That could significantly reduce the amount of modification that needs to be done once full orthodontic treatment begins.
Some of the conditions that can be identified and addressed in early childhood include:
There are numerous options for addressing these issues, including extractions, dental appliances, InvisalignⓇ First, and other forms of treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment can deliver a number of different benefits. During your consultation, you’ll learn if taking an early treatment path is a good fit for your child, or if alignment can wait until they are in their tween or teenage years.
For kids who have teeth crowding, early treatment can create more space in their bite. This makes it easier for kids to properly clean all surfaces of their teeth, including the spaces between teeth.
Kids who have protruding teeth can have a higher risk of tooth damage because some teeth are positioned in front of or behind others. If a sports injury or traumatic injury occurs, those teeth can take the full brunt of the force, which could lead to fractures or chips.
For young kids who have significantly crooked smiles, early treatment can go a long way toward boosting their confidence. Once they see the benefit of orthodontic treatment they may be more likely to embrace the routine of coming in to see a dentist or orthodontist, which can really pay off in terms of lifetime dental health and hygiene.
Some alignment issues are easy to identify, even with an untrained eye. That said, the only way to know for sure if your child could benefit from early orthodontic treatment is to schedule a professional assessment.
These visits are fun and painless, and you’ll walk away with the information needed to shape your child’s orthodontic treatment path. If treatment is needed, the process is usually broken down into phases, with a portion taking place over a 9-18 month span before a resting period.
The second phase is comprehensive orthodontic treatment and will usually begin after all permanent teeth have come in.
To learn more, call Lovely Smiles Orthodontics to set up a visit with Dr. Thompson. Online booking is also an option and is fast and easy.