Why early intervention treatment is important

Sometimes early intervention treatment is required to help resolve dental issues of children at an early age. Usually orthodontic treatment is left until the child grows into a teenager.

You should bring your child for their first orthodontic visit at about seven years old.

While your child is young, it is easier to manipulate their jaw as they are growing. Issues causing early intervention may include: crossbites, protruding teeth or when natural space preservation is required after baby teeth are lost too early.

Early intervention is referred to as phase 1, which includes orthodontic treatment between the ages of 7 and 12 years old, a huge time for oral growth.

Benefits for early intervention (phase 1)

Young children benefit from early intervention, as issues are easier and quicker to fix while they are young and still growing. Adult orthodontic issues are harder, more painful and take longer to fix.

While children are growing, their skeletal structure and teeth are easier to mould and influence. So, orthodontists find it easier to correct issues. Since influencing a child’s orthodontics is so easy, it’s the reason why bad habits such as thumb sucking or chewing on items can influence their oral development.

Early intervention also allows for orthodontists and parents to monitor children’s growth and proceed with appropriate modifications to help teeth and the jaw to influence good oral health.

Early orthodontics reduces the chances of requiring extensive treatment at later stages.

Reasons for early intervention

Possible reasons could include the following:

  • Improving appearance
  • Reduce chances and complexity of later issues
  • Help correct bad habits (thumb sucking etc)
  • Reduce the need for jaw surgery
  • Reduce the need for tooth extractions
  • Facial imbalances
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or eating
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Teeth that erupt slowly
  • Mouth breathing
  • Biting the cheeks or roof of the mouth

Early orthodontic treatments for children

Partial braces:

Partial braces can be either bonded to the upper or lower row of teeth. These braces can make it easier to correct issues later on with full braces and treatment time usually lasts between 10 to 12 months.

Partial braces can correct the following:

  • Spacing: Caused when there is too little or too much space in your child’s mouth, causing gaps between the teeth.
  • Prominent upper front teeth: This issue is when the upper front teeth stick out further than other teeth. This can increase chances of injury to the teeth and the appearance can cause distress in children. More information can be found here.
  • Crowding: Occurs when there is insufficient room for all teeth to fit correctly. Causing teeth to be out of position and partial braces can help bring the teeth correctly into place.
  • Crossbites: The issue where teeth on either the top or bottom jaw do not line up correctly with the jaw when your child’s mouth is closed. Crossbites cause problems while eating. Partial braces can be used to pull the teeth into the correct position, to fix their bite.

Expander:

Expanders are used to expand the upper dental arch to create more room to increase the chances of adult teeth emerging into better positions.

Space maintainer:

If your child loses baby teeth too early, a space maintainer may be recommended as they preserve the correct space for the adult tooth eruption to come through properly.

Extractions:

Baby tooth extractions may be required if it will reduce the crowding chances of adult teeth or if the baby teeth are remaining in place for too long. Extractions are done to help adult teeth and reduce the chances for orthodontic treatment later on.

If your child has oral issues and requires orthodontic attention, it is recommended not to put it off until later, as issues can become more complex.

At Simply Orthodontics, our friendly team are always ready to help children achieve good oral health, so that they hopefully avoid issues during adulthood. If you would like to find out more information about early intervention orthodontics, or to book an appointment in, please contact us here.

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