Why Putting Off Early Treatment of Misaligned Teeth is a Bad Idea

When we think of braces or orthodontic treatment, we usually associate it with teens, but children can benefit from orthodontic treatment too! As recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists, children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7.

While children at this age have teeth that are still developing, if there is an issue, and early evaluation can help your orthodontist identify those problems earlier, giving them a chance to correct the issues sooner.

At King Orthodontics, we recommend this preventative approach because it will provide your child with the best chance at a healthy smile! During this evaluation, our orthodontists will be looking for any oral issues that stand out, and that may require further observation and potential treatment either now or in the future.

If issues are detected between the ages of 6 and 9, this may require treatment we call interceptive orthodontics.

Interceptive Orthodontics: What You Should Know

Interceptive orthodontics, also called Phase 1 orthodontics, is a treatment option that allows us to identify and diagnose issues your child may have with tooth development or jaw growth at an early age. Why Putting Off Early Treatment of Misaligned Teeth is a Bad Idea

By treating your child in this phase, we can create space for the proper development and eruption of their permanent teeth. Phase 1 orthodontics can also help to enhance the growth of your child’s jaw, which will create a healthy relationship between their jaws and teeth. Using interceptive orthodontics, we can give your child a more symmetrical smile while also improving their oral health.

Is My Child a Candidate for Interceptive Orthodontics?

When your child comes in for their full evaluation, one of our orthodontists will fully inspect their jaws and teeth. We may recommend interceptive orthodontics if we find:

  • The child will be prone to an issue we need to prevent.
  • Their jawbones require guidance as they grow.
  • They are currently developing a dental issue we need to correct.

In some cases, orthodontic issues are genetic, such as extra or missing teeth, crowded teeth, or gapped teeth. Some orthodontic issues are caused by bad oral habits, premature tooth loss, and injury. Regardless of the cause of the orthodontic issue, the problem can affect your child’s facial development, the cosmetic appearance of their smile, and the alignment of their teeth. By using interceptive orthodontics, King Orthodontics can address all of the dental issues mentioned above and more!

What Types of Treatments are Used in Interceptive Orthodontics?

It may worry you that if you bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation that we will automatically need to treat them. Keep in mind that this is not often the case. There is a small number of children that require immediate treatment. Even if we do recommend treatment, it does not mean that your child will require something as extreme as braces right away. More common treatments include:

  • Widening the upper jaw by using expanders to create space for crowded teeth.
  • Removing one or more deciduous teeth to help permanent teeth come into the right position.
  • Using teeth spacers to save a space for permanent teeth in a spot where a primary tooth came out early due to decay or injury.

Our doctor will follow the normal pattern of your child’s dental development and growth to treat their dental issues at the ideal time. Many issues can be treated easily while your child develops but will become more difficult and complex to treat once their jaw bone stops growing in their teenage years.

Why Are Regular Orthodontic Checkups for Children Important?

To set the foundation for a fully functional smile, it is critical to have early orthodontic evaluations completed for your child. This allows us to monitor your child’s smile as they grow, and even if we don’t find any issues, there are a variety of benefits to these evaluations, including:

  • Detection of hidden dental issues
  • Reducing the risk of need future tooth extractions
  • Reducing the risk of impacted teeth.
  • Reducing the need for future jaw surgery.
  • Monitoring the progress of the teeth that are emerging.
  • Monitoring of their facial and jaw development.
  • Guiding emerging teeth into the proper positions.

With regular orthodontic checkups, our doctors can monitor your child’s smile as they grow and provide proactive treatment for a healthy smile!

Orthodontic Treatment for Children

If your child has yet to have an orthodontic evaluation before the age of 7, now is a great time to schedule their first appointment! Contact us today to learn more!