The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child's first evaluation occur no later than age 7 or at the first sign of orthodontic problems. Both Dr. Perrin and Dr. Pollard agree with this recommendation. Orthodontic treatment is often not necessary at this early age, but for some children who have specific tooth eruption or jaw growth abnormalities, appropriate interceptive treatment will ensure the very best treatment outcome with the least amount of treatment time and expense. Early treatment may also avoid some more complicated orthodontic procedures in the future.
If your child is experiencing any of the following common dental issues, they should come see one of our experienced orthodontists to help determine if any interceptive orthodontic treatment is warranted:
1. The front or back teeth do not touch at all
2. They have a hard time chewing or biting their food
3. The front or back teeth come together abnormally when biting
4. They have lost baby teeth too early or too late
5. They tend to breathe through their mouth more than their nose
6. They have crowded, blocked or misplaced teeth
7. They are older than 4 and still have a finger or thumb sucking habit
8. When they bite together, there is a shift of the bite or jaws
9. Their front teeth stick out too far
10. They have an overbite; their upper front teeth completely cover their lower front teeth
11. The proportion between the teeth and jaws do not comply with the rest of their face
Early interceptive treatments can directly help with some results, including:
1. Preserving space for unerupted teeth
2. Regulate the width of the lower and upper arches
3. Create more room for newly erupting adult teeth
4. Reducing the risk of trauma to teeth that are protruding
5. Correcting/Improving minor speech problems
6. Creating facial symmetry and balance by encouraging jaw growth
7. Reduce the risk of potential tooth extractions of adult teeth later in life
8. Reducing treatment time with braces
9. Eliminating finger and thumb sucking
Why should patients seek treatment for malocclusions?
Studies performed by the American Association of Orthodontists have concluded that untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems, including:
1. Openbites can lead to speech impediments, tongue-thrusting habits, and eating difficulties
2. Protruding front teeth are more susceptible to accidental trauma
3. Crowded teeth are harder to maintain, more difficult to floss and brush, which may contribute to higher rates of gum disease and tooth decay
4. Overbites and Crossbites can lead to unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
5. Misaligned or crowded teeth along with excessive overjet (“bucked teeth”) or underbite can had a negative impact on a young patient’s developing self-esteem.
Orthodontic treatments can help align your bite and teeth while helping to build your perfect smile - it can also improve your overall health.
To find out if your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment, please call our office to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.