Why you shouldn’t wait to see an orthodontist
While successful orthodontic treatment is possible at any age, early intervention may help your child’s treatment to be easier, faster and more cost effective. To ensure the health of your child’s teeth and maintain their smile for years to come, your family should see a specialist orthodontist for all their orthodontic care.
Spotting the signs they’ll need orthodontic treatment
Being informed as early as possible about the potential need for extensive orthodontic treatment can help parents to plan ahead for the future and create a budget or commence health insurance to ease the pressure. Bad habits (such as thumb sucking), poor dental hygiene, an under-bite or over-bite, irregular tooth growth or tooth positions, premature tooth loss, pain in the jaw when eating or even sleep apnoea may all be signs that your child may need to see an orthodontist for early orthodontic intervention.
The benefits of early intervention
Not all children will require early orthodontic intervention, however in more severe cases guidance by a professional can be beneficial.
Your orthodontist can use their expert knowledge of the diagnosis of irregularities of the jaws and teeth to assess whether your child would benefit from early treatment (also known as Phase I). Having early treatment may or may not negate the need for comprehensive orthodontic treatment once your child has reached the permanent dentition, as each case is treated and assessed individually.
For example, when it comes to severe thumb sucking, the shape of the upper or lower jaws may become constricted and narrow leading to the development of a problematic bite (how the upper and lower jaws connect) that may not be able to be corrected by braces alone. The earlier you’re able to seek treatment the easier it is to treat.
Creating a long term treatment plan
Finding an orthodontic home for your child by age 7 can help them to become familiar with their specialist, which can help to ease any anxiety they may have about their treatment in the future. During your initial assessment with your orthodontist, they will take an x-ray of your child’s teeth and facial bones to understand how their teeth are likely to develop in the future.
They’ll be able to diagnose any existing issues, present a treatment plan that encompasses their current needs and give you an idea of what may be necessary in the future. While many factors can contribute to the health of your child’s teeth and their need for orthodontic treatment, including early loss of baby teeth or accidents resulting in tooth loss, an early assessment can help you to be prepared for treatment in the future.
Why your family should see an orthodontist
Becoming an orthodontist requires extensive training and study, in fact all orthodontists first become qualified, practicing dentists before then going on to complete an additional three years of full-time study to become orthodontists.
This makes them experts at straightening teeth and correcting bad bites, with in-depth knowledge of the newest technologies and the best practices to safeguard the health of your child’s teeth.
Check that your family is seeing an orthodontist or search by location for a specialist orthodontist near you here.