Improving Children’s Smiles & Oral Health
There are several common questions parents ask when discussing early orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment for kids is a process that corrects the jaw’s growth and eliminates a variety of bite problems, including underbite, crossbite, and gaps before they are prominent. Starting with an orthodontic evaluation around age 7 or 8, your family orthodontist will determine your child’s need for orthodontic care. Early orthodontic treatment prevents more orthodontic concerns when your child is an adult. Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery.
Why might my child need orthodontic treatment?
There are a variety of indicators for the need for early orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. At this point the orthodontist will evaluate if your child needs orthodontic treatment.
How will early treatment benefit my child?
The goal of early orthodontic treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and bite problems (like underbite) before they are prominent. Early treatment also makes room for permanent teeth to grow properly, reducing the chance of smile problems in the future.
How can I tell if my child needs treatment?
There are a variety of indicators for early orthodontic treatment, including:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth Breathing
- Thumb sucking after age 5
- Speech impediments
- Protruding teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Crowded front teeth near age 7 or 8
- Over or Underbites
What causes orthodontic problems?
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.
What is a typical treatment schedule?
Early treatment usually begins at age 8 or 9, with a second phase of treatment usually starting near age 11. Receiving early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, significantly reducing chance of tooth extraction or dental surgery in the future.