Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment For Your Kids

Early orthodontic treatment is an excellent way to detect and treat problems in your child’s developing mouth before they become life-long issues. It is a treatment that takes place prior to braces when a child is between 7 and 10. We recommend that any child between the ages of seven and eight visit an orthodontist for an evaluation to see if they require potential orthodontic treatment.

Parents should note that there is no cause for alarm as this first visit is nothing more than a screening examination and will serve as a baseline as your children grow and their teeth begin to further develop.

It is not about appearances when it comes to early interceptive treatment. It is about ensuring that your child’s face and jaws develop correctly. Don’t worry, parents: your child’s teeth will not be encased in metal for the next ten years.

How to know if my child requires early orthodontic treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment often results in less treatment later on. If you notice any of these characteristics or behaviours below in your child, you should book a consultation for evaluation.

  • Baby teeth fall out early (before age five).
  • When biting and your child’s teeth do not meet correctly.
  • Snoring and heavy mouth breathing.
  • If your child’s front teeth are crowded (which you won’t notice until they are around seven or eight years old).
  • Front teeth that protrude.
  • Biting or chewing problems.
  • Your child has an early speech impediment.
  • When your child opens or closes their mouth and their jaws shift.
  • If your child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb or finger.

What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

Some issues, such as a severe crossbite, protrusions, or emerging crowding, are much easier to correct if detected early. And, when it comes to how to fix a skeletal underbite or overbite, the sooner the problem is diagnosed and treated, the better.

We use appliances or braces in phase 1 orthodontic treatment for children who still have most, if not all, of their baby teeth. Treatment usually begins when the child is between the ages of seven and ten and lasts about a year.

Because your child’s mouth is still developing, we can direct jaw growth and control the position of their permanent teeth, making future treatment more accessible, more effective, and less invasive by reducing the need for surgery or teeth extractions.

One-Phase vs. Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves a child receiving orthodontic treatment at two different times. The first phase of treatment is carried out while the child’s primary (or “baby”) teeth are still present. When the child has most or all of their permanent teeth, they enter the second phase.

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment ends after about a year, and we move into the retention phase, during which your child will usually wear retainers for teeth. We keep track of their progress for a few years and wait for their permanent teeth to emerge. Finally, phase 2 treatment, which includes full braces or Invisalign treatment, occurs during the pre-teen or early teenage years.

When it comes to two-phase orthodontic treatment, there is a common misconception that “Oh, my kid will have braces for six years.” Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Allow yourself to breathe a sigh of relief. The active treatment lasts a maximum of three years but is usually closer to two years.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment for your kids

Sometimes parents come into our orthodontic office feeling bad about not getting their children early orthodontic treatment. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Because of our high-tech approach and advancements in the field, your child and even yourself as an adult can benefit from orthodontic treatment and get a beautiful smile.

Here are ten of the most significant benefits of early orthodontic treatment:

  1. Makes sure you chew and bite properly.
  2. Eliminates bad oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
  3. Prevents or delays skeletal problems (this is often the best way to fix an underbite, severe overbite and crossbite).
  4. It guides jaw growth.
  5. It makes room to alleviate crowding, which wards off impacted teeth and allows the permanent teeth to come in at an ideal position.
  6. Improves self-esteem and confidence!
  7. Reduces the need for extractions or corrective jaw surgery.
  8. It helps with speech and breathing.
  9. Improves appearance by creating facial symmetry.
  10. Reduces the duration and cost of Invisalign or braces treatment during teen years.

The benefits of creating a long-term treatment plan?

Finding the right orthodontist for your child by seven years old will help them to build familiarity and trust with their specialist, which may quell any anxiety or concerns they might have regarding future treatment.

During your child’s initial assessment, your orthodontist will take an X-ray of their teeth and facial bones to ascertain how their teeth will develop in the future. This process will assist in diagnosing any existing orthodontic problems and help to cultivate a personalised long-term treatment plan for your child that indicates their current needs and what might be necessary for the future. While many factors can contribute to the health of your child’s teeth and their need for orthodontic treatment – including accidents resulting in tooth loss or an early loss of baby teeth – an early orthodontic assessment can help you and your child prepare for future treatment.

As mentioned earlier, the first visit is nothing more than a screening exam; it will serve as a baseline as your child and their teeth continue to grow and develop.

Today there is a much larger variety of orthodontic treatment options and different types of braces for teenagers available than ever before. Let us help you determine the right choice for your child based on their specific conditions, needs, and overall lifestyle.