Orthodontics for Children – What to Know, and When to Start
Often times when we think about orthodontic treatment, the focus is either on teenagers or adults. While it’s important to understand that full orthodontic treatment shouldn’t be performed on a child if they are too young, there are a host of reasons to consider orthodontics for your child.
There are several ‘warning signs’ when you should consider early treatment. A few of these warning signs include:
- Thumb sucking
- Teeth that touch abnormally or not at all
- Early loss or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Jaws or teeth that seem out of proportion
- Jaws that make sounds
- Difficulty breathing
- Crooked or misplaced teeth
Even if your child is not displaying any of the above issues, it is a good idea to bring them in from the age of 7 and up. At Tru North Orthodontics, we rarely recommend that treatment is started until the child is at least 7 years old. With that in mind, it certainly doesn’t mean that treatment will be necessary at that time. However, if there are any of the above issues, there are plenty of benefits to early orthodontic treatment.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
While comprehensive orthodontics focuses on straightening teeth and getting the bite completely corrected, the goals of early treatment tend to be different and more preventative in nature. Early treatment generally focuses on:
- Aligning jaws
- Preventing irreversible wear on permanent teeth
- Creating room for adult teeth that would otherwise not be able to grow in
- Reducing the need for future extractions or surgeries
- Preventing asymmetric growth of the jaws
- Reducing the risk of trauma or fracture of the front teeth
- Speech issues due to certain types of bites
These are just a few examples of reasons to consider early treatment. However, one other major benefit of early treatment is that it reduces (and sometimes prevents) the need for further treatment down the road when the patient is a teenager.
While the majority of our patients do not need orthodontic treatment at the age of 7, there are many benefits of bringing your child in early to have an assessment to ensure a successful orthodontic outcome down the road. If your child is 7 or older, it’s the perfect time to come in for a complimentary consultation to ensure a happy, healthy and beautiful smile!