Some orthodontic conditions are simply easier to correct if they’re corrected early and knowing that your child might need corrective dental work, or not need corrective dental work simply offers peace of mind. Interceptive orthodontic treatment is all about preventing more severe problems later on. It provides the opportunity for an orthodontist to have control over where the permanent teeth come in by addressing the structure of the jaw and teeth while the primary teeth are still in the mouth. By age seven, your child’s mouth has grown enough and has enough sound structure to know how to develop as the permanent teeth start to emerge. Your child’s pediatric dentist is educated to identify bite issues at an early age and will refer your child to an orthodontist at the appropriate point in time. For this reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic check up at the age of 7.
The benefits of early intervention by an Orthodontist include:
- A better prognosis for how the permanent teeth will develop.
- The ability to correct any habits that may be the cause of
- development problems, such as thumb sucking or tongue pushing.
- Correcting bite problems like an open bite, cross bite, or deep bite.
- The ability to guide the growth of the jaw to accommodate emerging teeth.
- Lowering the risk of damage to any protruding teeth.
- The ability to improve your child’s appearance
- Creating a more pleasing and functional arrangement of teeth, lips and face
- Alleviating future, and possibly more invasive, dental correction
- Increasing self esteem and confidence in your child
Even if your child doesn’t need orthodontic treatment, a consultation from an orthodontist gives you the opportunity to become more comfortable with what an orthodontist can do to help your child if future treatment is necessary. Building a relationship with your Orthodontist when your child is young is just one of the ways we can make sure of those lasting smiles.
Conditions That May Require Early Orthodontic Treatment
There are a lot of reasons to have your orthodontist examine your young child’s mouth when they still have baby teeth. A thorough orthodontic evaluation will reveal just how the teeth and mouth are growing, and will give the opportunity to your orthodontist to provide interceptive treatment. Interceptive treatment basically prevents a problem before it happens.
Types of teeth and bite conditions that may cause for early interceptive treatment include:
- Open Bites
- Deep Bites
- Cross Bites
- Teeth not emerging in the right sequence
- Missing teeth
- Congenitally missing teeth
- Ankylosed teeth: a condition where a tooth stops erupting and stays in the same place, causing the permanent tooth to be displaced upon emergence
By Dr Marianela Cardenas DDS, MS