How important is early orthodontic treatment?
Parents everywhere have now realised the importance of proper dental health and how it can directly affect your overall health and well-being. This is especially true for children as their bodies and bones are still developing.
Orthodontic treatment might seem extreme to some parents, especially since their children may still have their baby teeth. However, despite this, there are some dental problems which can be avoided (or improved on) through early orthodontic treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment (also known as interceptive treatment) is the dental and oral treatment and care of children, from as young as 7 years old. If your child is experiencing severe dental issues, orthodontic appliances can be used to help begin correcting the problem whilst all the permanent teeth erupt.
Beginning treatment early enough can help develop the underlying bones (which support the teeth) providing the permanent teeth with adequate space to grow correctly. Additionally, the treatment can assist with correcting jaw deficiencies.
It should be noted that early orthodontic treatment is not possible for every child as there are many factors to be considered. If you think your child may be in need of early orthodontic treatment, you should get them examined by an orthodontist and discuss their suitability.
The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment can be extremely beneficial to your child. Some of the many benefits include:
Helping keep teeth clean and healthy
Crooked and crowded teeth can make effective cleaning difficult. There are many spaces and areas which become hard to reach allowing plaque and bacteria to accumulate and thrive. This often leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. By straightening your child’s teeth early on, you can ensure that their teeth cleaning is made easier and help them avoid any needless dental problems both now and in the future.
Preventing premature loss of teeth
If a child’s baby teeth fall out too early, the surrounding teeth can begin shifting which increases the risk of their permanent teeth erupting in a crooked and awkward position. The use of special orthodontic appliances can help begin the tooth straightening process, so that once their permanent teeth start coming in, it can do so in the correct positions. It should be noted that even if baby teeth fall out whilst using an orthodontic appliance, the appliance will keep the surrounding teeth firmly in place, allowing the permanent teeth to erupt correctly and with ease.
Correcting bite problems
When your child’s jaws (or teeth and jaws) do not align properly, it is known as malocclusion or a bad bite and it can cause teeth to grow awkwardly and become crowded. Additionally, it can cause headaches, facial and jaw pain, and discomfort which will leave your child feeling grumpy. In some severe cases, the upper teeth have little room to grow properly, in which cases a palatal expander is used to gently and painlessly widen the upper jaw. Early orthodontic treatment can go a long way in treating bad bites and giving your child’s mouth and teeth the opportunity to develop properly. It is important to remember that bite problems are much easier and quicker to treat at an early age since the bones are still developing and can be manipulated more easily.
Helping prevent dental trauma
If teeth are left untreated, it can cause problems later on which could require major treatment or dental procedures to correct which could be traumatic for your little one. Crooked teeth can also grow in awkward positions and stick out making them more susceptible to physical damage. Straightening them early on can help prevent this, especially since children are prone to falling and having accidents which can chip or break teeth.
Saving time and money
If dental problems are left untreated, they grow worse over time, leaving your teeth looking unsightly and you in pain. Correcting your child’s orthodontic problems early on can give them better dental health but will also save you time and money in the long run. The more difficult a dental problem is to solve, the longer it will take, and the more money will be required.
Helping reduce or correct speech problems
A bad bite or misaligned teeth can cause a lisp or other speech impediments. Correcting these issues during the early years can help prevent or alleviate these problems and give your child the confidence to speak and interact with others.
It may seem drastic to get your child early orthodontic treatment, but it will play a crucial role in their dental and overall development. Every child may not need it, but for those who do, early treatment will really help improve the function of their mouth, enhance their smile, and give them the confidence to take on daily challenges with a bright and happy smile.
Early Orthodontics Treatment in Mentone
If you think that your child may be in need of early orthodontic treatment, get an examination done by a dental professional at a Straight Orthodontics clinic. To book an appointment at the Mentone Main Office or the Frankston Office, call (03) 9585-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.