Early orthodontic treatment is a misleading phrase. Many parents assume that during early orthodontic treatment, their child will need to start braces right away. But this isn’t the case. When you bring your child in to see us by the age of 7—the age recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists—we will evaluate your child’s teeth and gums to begin monitoring their development. Many children at this age won’t need braces yet, and that’s okay. As long as we are continuously checking your child’s smile throughout the formative years, we’ll know the best time to begin treatment, if it’s needed at all.
Why Early Treatment?
Early treatment, also called Phase 1 treatment, can help prevent complicated orthodontic issues later in life. At this phase, we can diagnose any early changes in bone structure and potential misalignment. Children of this age have already lost many of their baby teeth and have adult teeth forming. This makes it easier to assess the development of your child’s smile and catch any abnormalities early.
Often times, children who sucked their thumbs or stayed on a pacifier too long have developed bite issues. With early treatment, we can help stop bad habits and assess whether any potential problems may worsen over time. If left untreated, many minor problems can develop into severe issues that may require invasive treatment, like extractions, or lengthy treatment. Early treatment can stop orthodontic issues from continuing, saving you time and money.
Does Your Child Need Orthodontic Treatment?
If you think your child may need orthodontic treatment, check for these symptoms:
- Loss of baby teeth before age 5
- Thumb-sucking after age 5
- Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Protruding or misaligned teeth
- Jaw shifting when opening and closing the mouth (crossbite)
If you’re ready to begin early treatment for your child, request an appointment today!