Orthodontic treatment for children
“The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7.”
Orthodontic treatment has the ability to enhance a smile at any stage in life, however, the earlier the better. We strongly agree with early treatment screening, as it allows us to diagnose potential problems and discuss corrections before they become more serious issues. Having orthodontic evaluation at the impressionable age of 7 can save you and your child a lot of trouble in the future. It can also possibly create quicker and more cost-effective solutions for the healthiest smile.
Why is 7 considered the best age for early screening?
The first adult molars typically erupt by the young age of 7, which establishes the back bite. This allows orthodontic evaluation of the tooth relationships/placement. Appropriately scheduling an early screening can exponentially increase the chances for the best possible smile.
Early Interceptive Orthodontic treatment plays a huge role in the future of your child’s oral health. At this young age, the permanent teeth are still developing and impressionable. This helps evaluate tooth placement and plan accordingly, addressing any potential problems in their early stages.
Benefits of early orthodontic treatment
Several direct results of early interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded teeth.
- Preserving room for undeveloped teeth.
- Reducing treatment time.
- Reducing the possibility of tooth removal.
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding teeth.
- Overall facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth.
Is early orthodontic treatment right for my child?
Although orthodontics is commonly used for smile aesthetics, orthodontic treatment can also improve malocclusions (otherwise known as bad bites). Malocclusions are a direct a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. This can create difficulty brushing and flossing teeth, uneven smiles, and even negatively impact eating habits. Other reasons why your child may be a candidate for early treatment may be (but are not limited to) crowding, open bite, overbite, and gummy smiles.
All of these problems cause further complications and dental inconveniences later on in life, not to mention significant cost in treatment. By bringing your child in for an orthodontic consultation by the age of seven, our specialist orthodontist, Dr. Caswell can identify these problems and plan for treatment accordingly.
Orthodontics for teens and preteens
ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time of a child’s life for orthodontic treatment. Most teeth should be grown in by the age of 12, excluding special cases and wisdom teeth. Once all the permanent teeth are developed, it is easier to identify issues that orthodontics can address. Some of these issues may include (but are not limited to) crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites. It is very rare that any of these oral health issues correct themselves. During this time, most parents turn to orthodontics with concern for their children’s oral health.
Another benefit of orthodontic treatment during the adolescent years is how common braces are among their peers. Since their friends have braces, your child will be more eager to undergo orthodontic treatment and feel more comfortable with the appearance of braces. All their friends are wearing braces, so they may be excited to wear them too. As they get older braces are no longer as cool, making teens more hesitant and less willing to wear braces.
In addition to fitting in with their friends, children experience a lot of growth spurts at this age, creating a huge advantage to shaping their bite and teeth properly. The older they get, the more effort it takes to adjust their smile.
Book your child in for an early consultation
Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about achieving a beautiful smile; it’s about creating a healthier you. Give your child or teenager the best start in life. Book them in for an early consultation with our team at Caswell Orthodontics and we’ll work with you to ensure they’re smiling for a lifetime!