Are you wondering if your child will need orthodontic treatment? Or maybe you know they will, but you’re not sure when to begin?
Early orthodontic treatment is care or intervention for children who still have some, or all, of their ‘baby’ or primary teeth – usually starting around age seven. It’s not required for all kids, but can help prevent improper growth or the misalignment of permanent teeth.
How to know if your child needs early orthodontic treatment?
Not all children will need this kind of early phase treatment, but in some cases it is necessary to prevent larger dental issues as your child ages. Appropriate treatment in a younger child can prevent everything from crowded to crooked teeth or gaps.
Typically, we’d suggest you bring your child in for a free consultation if they suck their thumb, or often press their tongue against their teeth. It’s also worthwhile to have this assessment done early if crooked or crowded teeth are common in your family.
Benefits of early orthodontic treatment
The benefits of your child getting this treatment early on are clear – it can really be summarized in one. A confident smile that they love.
But otherwise, it also:
Can improve digestion
When your child properly chews their food, the body can break down and digest the pieces more easily. With crooked teeth or something like an overbite, proper chewing can sometimes be difficult and can cause digestive upset.
Can prevent or improve speech impediments
Similar to the above point, when your child has an overbite or extra gaps between their teeth, lisps and improper pronunciation of T’s and S’s can run rampant.
Can limit tooth decay
When teeth are crooked or overlap each other, there are tiny little places for food and plaque to hide. It can be difficult enough for a fully grown adult to reach them with their toothbrush, if not impossible – let alone for a child. Aligning the teeth can remove these hiding spots and ensure proper cleaning is possible.