Early orthodontic treatment can reduce the risk of complicated issues in the long-term.
Everyone wants their child to enjoy a happy and healthy smile for life. One of the best ways to ensure that your little one’s teeth are well aligned as they grow up is to arrange an early assessment with an orthodontist. Early assessments and treatments can go a long way in reducing the risk of severe problems later in life and can help maintain good oral health. Read on to find out why early orthodontic treatment is so important, and how to know if your child may need intervention…
How do you know if your child needs treatment?
Although it is advisable to take your child for an early orthodontic assessment no matter what their smile looks like, there are a few signs that may suggest that they will need orthodontic treatment. Some of the early signs to look out for include baby tooth decay; early loss of baby teeth; snoring; mouth breathing; difficulty with chewing and biting; thumb sucking or pacifier use past the age of two years old; protruding front teeth; crowded teeth; misaligned teeth; and bite-related issues like an overbite or underbite. If you have noticed any of these signs, it is especially important that you see an orthodontist to find a solution as soon as possible.
What does early treatment involve?
Although each patient is different, a typical early orthodontic assessment begins with an examination of the mouth. During this examination, your orthodontist will check for any potential issues relating to the bite and alignment of the jaw. X-rays will be performed to check for issues that are not visible to the naked eye.
If any problems are identified, your orthodontist will recommend a treatment plan that best suits your child. Possible treatments include palate expansion devices, which create more room for teeth; tooth extraction, which can help the permanent teeth to emerge properly; and space maintainers, which are useful in the case of early tooth loss.
If necessary, habits like mouth breathing, thumb sucking and pacifier use will be discussed and addressed.
Why is a straight smile healthier?
There are a number of benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment and resolving alignment and bite-related issues as early as possible. Straight teeth are generally much easier to clean compared with crooked teeth — it can be difficult to remove plaque from all the surfaces of misaligned teeth, and this can lead to issues like tooth decay and gum disease over time.
A perfectly aligned smile also makes oral functions like speaking and eating much easier to do properly. And, there are also aesthetic benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment, particularly in the case of severe crowding or irregular spacing.
How can we help?
At Straight Orthodontics, we encourage our patients to bring their little ones in to see us for their first orthodontic assessment at around the age of seven years old. This allows us to examine your child’s mouth and check for current and/or future orthodontic problems. By identifying and treating issues at an early stage, we are often able to reduce the chance of issues becoming complicated and costly to fix down the line.
If you would like to find out more about early orthodontic treatment at Straight Orthodontics, please have a look here.
If you would like to come in and see us, please get in touch to arrange a consultation or give us a call on 03 9585 8000. We look forward to meeting your child and providing them with the care that they need.
We also offer a range of other orthodontic treatments, including braces and clear aligners. If you didn’t have the opportunity to have your teeth straightened as a child, you might consider treatment as an adult. Have a look here to find out more about the services that we provide at Straight Orthodontics.