Orthodontic treatment is often associated with pre-teens and teenagers getting braces. However, this is only partially accurate. Many children, even as young as seven, can benefit from early orthodontic treatment. Our early orthodontic treatment in Fort Wayne can help fix any orthodontic issues your child may face and can help prevent the need for more extensive treatment in the future. But what does early orthodontic treatment entail, and why can it significantly impact your child’s teeth?
What is Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive orthodontics, is a type of orthodontic treatment that focuses on fixing issues before your child’s permanent teeth come in. This is typically recommended for children between the ages of seven and ten, as this is usually an excellent time to address issues such as overcrowding, bite problems, and other orthodontic issues.
Why is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important?
Early orthodontic treatment is crucial because it addresses issues before they become more complicated and challenging. By getting treatment earlier, the orthodontist can guide your child’s teeth into the proper position and ensure their jaw is developing correctly, preventing more severe problems later. Treating issues early can also control the need for more invasive and costly treatment in the future, such as oral surgery or tooth extractions.
What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment offers many benefits, including:
Improved oral health: By correcting your teeth early on, children can avoid problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.
Better aesthetics and self-esteem: Addressing overbites, gapped or crowded teeth, and jaw problems can improve your child’s facial appearance and confidence.
Improved speech: With early orthodontic treatment, we can often correct issues like difficulty speaking or pronouncing certain words.
Reduced risk of damage: Teeth that are properly aligned are less likely to be damaged or knocked out in the event of an injury or accident.
How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment?
It can be challenging to tell if your child needs early orthodontic treatment without a professional evaluation. That’s why scheduling regular orthodontic checkups for your child and discussing their teeth’s development with our team is essential. However, there are some signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment, such as difficulty biting or chewing, frequent jaw pain or headaches, early tooth decay or loss, and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advocates for proactive dental care by recommending an initial orthodontic exam and consultation for children by age 7. This early evaluation allows orthodontists to assess the developing dental and skeletal structures, identifying potential issues that may require intervention. By initiating orthodontic evaluations at such an early age, orthodontists can detect and address emerging problems, guide jaw growth, and create optimal conditions for permanent teeth to emerge correctly. This proactive approach facilitates timely interventions for effective treatment and enhances the potential for successful outcomes, contributing to a lifetime of healthy smiles. Early orthodontic consultations empower both parents and orthodontists to work collaboratively in creating individualized treatment plans that address specific concerns, setting the foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health.
What Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Involve?
Early orthodontic treatment in Fort Wayne, Indiana, can involve various methods, depending on the individual case and the issue we address. These treatments are typically less invasive than those required for more severe malocclusion challenges, making them more comfortable and easier to manage for your child.
Common treatments include:
Retainers can be a key component of treatment and can help ensure that your child’s teeth stay in their proper position. Your child can wear these orthodontic appliances at night and work by keeping teeth from shifting. Depending on your child’s needs, our team may recommend different types of retainers, including removable and fixed options.
A common tool used in early orthodontic treatment is a palate expander. A palate expander is a device that stretches and expands the upper jaw to properly align the teeth and create more space for permanent teeth to grow in. This treatment is usually recommended for children between 8 and 10, as their jaw bones are still growing and can be easily manipulated.
Early Orthodontic Treatment in Fort Wayne
Early orthodontic treatment can significantly impact your child’s oral health and well-being. By addressing crooked or misaligned teeth before they become more complicated, your child can avoid severe problems, promoting better oral health, speech, and facial appearance.
OMI Orthodontics in Fort Wayne offers a range of early orthodontic treatment options tailored to your child’s needs, ensuring their teeth are healthy, straight, and beautiful. Our treatments include everything from braces to clear aligners. Contact us today to book a consultation with Dr. Joel Johnson or Dr. Marcus Dager and start your child’s journey toward a healthy, beautiful smile.