At My Orthodontist, our brilliant class of doctors believes it’s never too late to begin your orthodontic treatment. However, when it comes to your child’s teeth, it is best to address and screen them for any orthodontic issues before it’s too late! According to the American Association of Orthodontics, all children should have their first orthodontic screening by the age of 7.
Why Is It Important To Get An Early Screening?
There are numerous ways children can benefit from an early screening with an orthodontist. However, one misconception is the earlier the evaluation, the earlier the treatment can begin. In most general cases, the child’s development patterns will decipher when treatment will begin. Due to the fact that children develop differently, treatment plans will be tailored accordingly to address future issues.
On average, most kids begin to develop their adult molars by the age of six. This is one of the major development markers that helps us identify the basic alignment of the teeth. This gives us the opportunity to:
• Identify the alignment of the teeth from front to back
• Identify the alignment of the teeth from side to side
• Identify if the spacing in the mouth is correct and will allow for permanent teeth to grow
When Earlier Treatment Is Better
The most common orthodontic issues begin around the ages of 9 and 14. By this time, the child’s baby teeth should be gone and the permanent teeth should be present. There are several conditions that can be easily treated if they are caught at an early stage. Children will begin to develop quickly so it is important to address this at an early stage.
This is one of the most common conditions seen in every orthodontist office and can be much more complex to treat if the issue isn’t addressed immediately. Orthodontists are able to treat this issue with a device called a palatal expander, which gradually widens the upper jaw with little pain.
Another common condition is crowding of the teeth. This develops when the jaw is too small to accommodate the appropriate amount of space to allow all of the permanent teeth to fit. This would also require a palatal expansion or even removing some of the teeth to allow for others. This can be a faster treatment process and less complex issue even if braces are required.
Protruding teeth are mostly common in the front and can increase the likelihood of being chipped or fractured. This cannot only impact the individual physically, but personally as well as it can impact their self-image
An underbite develops when the lower jaw rapidly outgrows the upper jaw. This can result in serious bite problems that can create breathing issues and even trouble when chewing. To address this issue, orthodontic appliances such as braces and even headgear can successfully treat this issue. If it isn’t addressed early however, surgery is more than likely to be required.
Addressing Bad Habits
At one time or another, anyone can pick up a bad habit. But some habits can be worse than others especially when these habits can pose a negative impact on the development and functionality of the child’s teeth. Some examples of these negative habits are:
Persistent Thumb Sucking
This is very common in young children but if the habit persists into their early teenage years, significantly negative impacts could alter the development of the tooth and jaw structure.
Another common habit happens to be tongue thrusting. Although it isn’t something that seems too severe, the impacts from this habit can be extremely severe, often causing an “open bite.”
Abnormal breathing patterns are a much less common issue but still remain a factor in early orthodontic treatment. This generally involves breathing with the mouth open and can promote an abnormal growth in the tongue, face and jaw. In more severe cases, jaw issues can develop and lead into more complex issues.
Although some orthodontic treatments can be more difficult to identify, there are numerous treatments to fix these common habitual repercussions. However, this makes it crucial to have an early screening so these issues are addressed before more severe, complex issues develop.
Your Orthodontic Experts
At My Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on the quality, care and compassion we devote to each of our patients. No matter the age, our dedicated staff tailors each treatment plan to the patient. If you have any questions regarding any of our treatment plans or services, contact one of our offices today so one of our dedicated representatives can assist you! We’re conveniently located in Lawrenceville, West New York, Cherry Hill, Deptford, and East Orange, NJ as well as Langhorne, PA.
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