Almost every parent has realised the importance of proper dental health for their kids and how it can affect their overall health. During childhood, kids’ bodies and bones are developing, and taking them to the Orthodontic Dentist early can help with their teeth and jaw development.
Some parents might consider orthodontic treatment an extreme step, especially when their children still have baby teeth.
However, they don’t realise that early orthodontic treatment can prevent many dental problems. Such treatment can help develop their underlying, teeth-supporting bones, providing the permanent teeth adequate space to grow correctly.
You might have some questions about orthodontic treatment for your child. This article will discuss everything about early orthodontic treatment for children.
When Should Your Kid See an Orthodontist?
One of the most common questions parents usually ask is how early it is too early to get an orthodontic treatment, such as braces or aligners. For adults wanting a more aesthetic smile, Veneers Procedure can be an ideal solution.
According to the Australian Society of Orthodontists, kids should visit a registered orthodontist for oral health assessment between 8 and 10 years old.
It will allow the orthodontist to evaluate your kid’s teeth and oral condition and, thus, determine whether he needs early dental treatment.
How Can Parents Know if Their Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment?
There are multiple ways for parents to determine whether their child needs early orthodontic treatment. You should take your child for a professional orthodontic assessment if you observe any of the below-listed characteristics or behaviours in your kid:
- Early loss of baby teeth (usually before the age of 5)
- Foul mouth breathing or snoring
- If your kid’s teeth don’t meet properly when biting
- If your kid’s front teeth are crowded
- Your child finds it difficult to bite or chew
- Protruding front teeth
- A speech impediment
- If your child’s age is more than 5, but he still sucks his thumb or finger
- If your kid’s jaw shifts when he opens or closes his mouth
What are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment?
A professional Orthodontic Dentist performs early orthodontic treatment when a child’s jawbones are still soft.
They don’t harden until your child reaches his late teens. One primary benefit of early orthodontic treatment is corrective procedures work much faster and more effectively on kids as their bones are still pliable.
Moreover, appropriate early treatment helps lay the foundation for healthy and well-functioning teeth, jaw, and mouth in adulthood.
The following discussed are some other benefits of early orthodontic treatment:
Help keep teeth clean and healthy
Crooked and crowded teeth can’t be cleaned effectively. Some spaces and areas are hard to reach and, thus, allow plaque and bacteria to accumulate and thrive.
It can cause tooth decay or loss, gum disease, and other dental problems. By straightening your kid’s teeth early with the help of braces or aligners, you can ensure their teeth are cleaned properly and help them avoid any dental issues.
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Preventing premature loss of teeth
If your child’s baby teeth fall out too early, his surrounding teeth can shift, increasing the risk of his permanent teeth being crooked or erupting in an awkward position.
The dentist can use special orthodontic devices to begin the tooth straightening so that when your baby’s permanent teeth start coming in, they grow in the correct positions.
Moreover, if a baby’s teeth fall out using an orthodontic device, the device will secure surrounding teeth, allowing the permanent teeth to erupt correctly.
Correcting bite problems
A child has a bad bite or malocclusion when his teeth and jaws don’t align properly. This specific dental problem can cause a kid’s teeth to grow awkwardly and become crowded.
In addition, it can cause facial and jaw pain, discomfort, and headaches, leaving your child feeling grumpy.
Early orthodontic treatment can help treat bad bites, enabling your kid’s teeth and mouth to develop properly.
You should know that bite problems can be easily and quickly treated at an early age since bones are still developing and, thus, can be easily manipulated.
Helping prevent dental trauma
If teeth are left untreated for long, it can cause severe dental problems that could require major dental treatment or procedures, which could be a traumatic experience for your little one.
For instance, crooked teeth can grow awkwardly and stick out, making them susceptible to physical damage if not fixed for long. Straightening crooked teeth early can help prevent physical harm.
Reduces teeth grinding
If your kind frequently complains about headaches or neck pains, it could be because of teeth grinding.
Grinding of teeth usually occurs due to an unaligned jaw. It could cause many dental or general health problems if not corrected early on in life.
An orthodontic dentist can help shift back your child’s jaw to its optimal placement with the help of braces and elastics. It will further relieve them from uncomfortable symptoms, including grinding of teeth.
Corrects harmful oral habits
Thumb sucking is a natural reflex that almost every kid experiences from birth to around age five. However, some children commonly suck their thumbs or fingers even later on in life.
If your kid continues the thumb-sucking habit past the age of six, he might be at greater risk of causing detrimental damage to his teeth. Taking your child to the dentist for braces can be a great way to break this habit.
What does an Orthodontic Dentist Look for When Determining Whether a Kid Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment?
An experienced orthodontist usually examines the child’s first permanent molars- the flat teeth at the back of an individual’s mouth.
It allows the orthodontist to check for a developing malocclusion or bad bite. In addition, the dentist examines the incisors that have come in to check for dental problems like deep bites, crowding, crossbites, and open bites.
It might seem drastic to get children early orthodontic treatments such as braces, aligners, etc., but these procedures will play a vital role in their dental development.
Although every child might not need the attention of an Orthodontic Dentist, for those who do, early treatment can help align their teeth, improve the function of their mouth, enhance their smile, and boost their confidence.