We can see children for their first orthodontic evaluation as soon as age six or seven. This might seem very early, but by this stage it is possible to see how their teeth and jaws are developing and to identify any problems that may develop in the future or which might already be present due to oral habits such as thumb sucking. We will be able to predict if there is sufficient room for adult teeth to erupt without problems, and can assess the overall shape and profile of their face. If we think it is required, we can provide early interceptive orthodontic treatment.
What Type Of Problems Can Be Corrected with Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment?
Early interceptive orthodontics can be extremely useful in correcting issues including those caused by thumb or finger sucking, and where the upper jaw may have become elongated and narrower due to the thumb pulling the upper jaw outwards. This can also affect the position of the upper front teeth and may cause them to become protrusive.
What Are The Advantages Of Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment?
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment takes place between the ages of seven and eleven. By providing treatment at such a young age, we can help guide the growth of their jawbones at a stage when they are still growing and developing. In addition, there are the cosmetic benefits of treatment as we can use it to ensure your child has a nice, well balanced and attractive facial profile.
Treatment is very carefully timed to take advantage of growth spurts to provide maximum benefits. This can help create sufficient space for teeth that have yet to erupt and which without treatment would likely create overcrowding when they eventually emerge. By ensuring the upper jaw is wide enough to accommodate their adult teeth, we can reduce or eliminate the need for tooth extractions in preparation for orthodontics during their teenage years.
Will My Child Still Need Braces Later On?
Early orthodontic treatment can reduce or eliminate the need for a child to wear braces as a teenager. If they do require a second phase of treatment then it is likely to be shorter and more cosmetically oriented, and will typically begin once they have most of their adult teeth.
What Type Of Appliances Can Be Used in Early Orthodontics?
One of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances is called a palatal expander. This is a removable appliance that is designed to expand the upper palate and is used where a child’s upper palate is too narrow to accommodate their adult teeth. The appliance is gradually adjusted by turning a small screw, to widen and expand the upper palate until it is the correct shape and size. Another appliance that is less commonly used is called headgear and this is worn on outside of the head and is designed to correct complex orthodontic problems. This is normally worn after school and during sleep so it does not interfere too much with daily life. There are many different appliances that may be used, and we will discuss all suitable options with you.
Would your child benefit from an orthodontic evaluation? Call, book online or use Live Chat to find out more about how we can help.