Most people think of teens and young adults when thinking of orthodontic treatment. However, there are many reasons you should start orthodontics much sooner. We, at Dental Care of North Carolina, may recommend early intervention, known as phase one or interceptive orthodontics, to prevent the need for extensive treatments down the road. We are all about setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
When Should Your Child Have the First Orthodontic Evaluation?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven. Many developmental concerns can be diagnosed and easily corrected early on while the child’s jawbones are still growing, extremely malleable, and responsive to treatment, ensuring quick results. If you have any concerns before your child turns seven, make sure to let us know.
What Are the Benefits of Starting Orthodontics Early?
Early orthodontics provides numerous benefits, including reducing the risk of chipping protruding teeth, improving facial symmetry, and resolving speech impediments. During this treatment phase, only some of the permanent teeth have erupted, and the jawbones are still growing and developing, meaning conditions such as crowding are much easier to correct.
Oral appliances such as palatal expanders and limited brackets work together to expand the arches, correct jaw and bite problems and create the space needed for the remaining adult teeth to come in correctly. Most children undergoing phase one orthodontics will need braces or other orthodontic appliances down the road, but future treatments are usually shorter, less complicated, and more affordable.
What Conditions Require Interceptive Orthodontics?
Conditions requiring early orthodontics include crowded, crooked, gapped, or protruding teeth, as well as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Signs your child may require interceptive orthodontics include early tooth loss, thumb sucking after age 5, breathing through the mouth, difficulty chewing or biting, speech problems, or jaws and teeth not proportional to the rest of the face.
Examples of Interceptive Orthodontics
Examples of early orthodontics include using palatal expanders to expand the child’s upper arch, making room for the permanent teeth to erupt correctly. Treatment at a young age while the bones are still malleable is much more effective. Interceptive treatments also include space maintainers to maintain the space left by prematurely lost baby teeth, braces on select teeth, and the targeted removal of primary teeth interfering with the proper eruption of the permanent teeth developing behind the scenes.
Interceptive Orthodontics in Morrisville and Greensboro
Contact Dental Care of North Carolina to learn more about the benefits of starting orthodontic early. We will evaluate the growth and development of your child’s mouth and may recommend intervention, if needed, to lay the groundwork for long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your child’s appointment today!