As a parent, you want the best for your child including a healthy smile. To start your child off on the path to a healthy smile, he or she should see a pediatric dentist by age one. In a blink, your baby’s permanent teeth will be erupting and you might think, “Is there enough room for them?” The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests children have their first visit with an orthodontist by age seven to evaluate jaw growth, bite alignment and other issues that might impact the child’s dental development.
Orthodontic treatment in young children is also called interceptive orthodontics. An early evaluation performed by an orthodontist can identify potential issues that may later require extensive and aggressive treatment. Early orthodontic treatment is critical for patients who have thumb sucking or pacifier use habits. Early treatment is frequently recommended to reverse the effects of these habits on a pediatric patient’s bite.
BENEFITS OF EARLY TREATMENT
Generally, most children who receive interceptive treatment will then move into comprehensive orthodontic treatment, or full braces, at an appropriate age. The early treatment paves the way for the second phase of treatment to be more efficient. The second phase is then accomplished in a shorter amount of time, with better results! Early treatment allows the orthodontist to:
- Guide jaw growth.
- Decrease the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
- Correct harmful habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position.
- Improve the way lips meet.
INDICATIONS FOR EARLY TREATMENT
Patients can benefit from early orthodontic treatment if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Premature or late loss of primary teeth.
- Difficulty chewing. or biting.
- Mouth breathing.
- Crowding of permanent teeth.
- Open bite: front teeth do not meet or meet in an abnormal way.
- Unbalanced facial appearance.
- Repeated biting of the cheeks or into the roof of the mouth.
Often, children do not need interceptive treatment. The orthodontist may evaluate and monitor your child’s dental development at specific ages and stages and find that your child’s bite is progressing nicely.
THE BENEFITS OF AN EARLY EVALUATION
At Barakat Orthodontics, we offer complimentary consultations for early evaluation. Dr. Barakat will be able to:
- Gather information through low-dose X-rays for future orthodontic needs.
- Identify any orthodontic problems.
- Accurately determine the best time to start treatment that will benefit your child and mitigate further orthodontic problems.
- Estimate the length of treatment.
- Choose the type of appliance that will be most beneficial to your child.
You will leave our office with good information to help you make the best choice for your child and his or her orthodontic needs. Barakat Orthodontics is with you every smile of the way!