early orthodontic care

How to Tell If Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child see an orthodontist as early as the age of 7. This is because early orthodontic treatment can be beneficial for your child over the long run.

Although early orthodontic treatment won’t always prevent your child from needing treatment in the future, it can help your child deal with the symptoms that are present at that moment while also drastically reducing the time your child will need treatment in the future. Below, we have outlined everything you need to know about early orthodontic treatments and how they can help benefit your child.

What is Early Treatment?

Early treatment is known as ‘phase 1’ and will typically begin around the ages of 8 or 9. The second stage, known as ‘phase 2’ starts around age 11 or so. When it comes to the earlier treatment, the goal is not to get the perfect permanent smile, but rather to help aid growth in the right direction. This means correcting the growth of your child’s jaw to fix underbite or overbite issues that they may end up having as teenagers.

This is the core feature of early orthodontic treatment. It can be seen as a preventative measure and a way to minimize the treatments your child may need in the future by preparing and guiding their growth and development in the right way.

How to Tell if Your Child May Need Early Orthodontic Treatment

There are quite a few signs that your child may need early orthodontic treatment. These can range from subtle problems with their bite or long-term habits like sucking on their thumb. If you suspect that your child may need treatment, feel free to bring them in so that we can make sure that we can provide them with the best care possible. Spotting these issues early on can allow your child to get the assistance they need and hopefully avoid bigger treatments in the future.

Although these signs are always best spotted by professionals, there are some things you can look out for at home as well. To help you figure out if your child needs early orthodontic treatment, here are some of the major signs to look out for:

Early or late loss of baby teeth

Your child should start losing their baby teeth around the age of 5. Once their baby teeth fall away, they should have all their permanent teeth by the age of 13. If your child has kept their baby teeth for longer than they should, or they have lost them much earlier than normal, come and see us and find out how we can help.

Difficulty chewing or biting

If you notice that your child is having trouble with their bite, this could be a sign that they need some kind of early orthodontic treatment. If they are experiencing any kind of pain while chewing, you should come in as soon as possible.

Crowded and misaligned teeth

One of the more obvious things to look out for is if your child has crowded or misaligned teeth. This can be a sign that their jaw is not properly developed and can result in them having an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Although crowded teeth can straighten by themselves, if your child still has crowded teeth by the age of 8, it could be a sign that they could benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Other things to look out for

Some other things to look out for include mouth breathing, speech impediments, and prolonged thumb sucking. Your child may have started sucking their thumb to calm themselves down before they had any teeth but doing so while having growing teeth can lead to dental issues in the future. If they are still sucking their thumb after the age of 5, this can be a sign that they will need some kind of early orthodontic treatment.

What Causes Orthodontic Problems in Children?

If your child has any orthodontic problems, it’s only natural to wonder what causes these issues in the first place? Orthodontic issues such as crowded teeth, jaw growth issues, and bad bites can be inherited through genetics. This means that if you have a family history where these kinds of dental issues are prevalent, your child might have to deal with similar issues as they grow.

In addition to some of these issues being inherited, your child can also have orthodontic issues due to injuries to the mouth as well as early or late loss of baby teeth. If your child has an injury to the mouth, this can cause jaw growth problems and even cause their teeth to grow in unnatural ways. Additionally, if your child has had their baby teeth stick around for longer than normal, this can throw off the growth of their permanent teeth and result in issues later on in life. Most children lose all of their baby teeth by the age of 13, if your child still has many baby teeth by that age, you should contact us for a consultation where we can provide your child with friendly orthodontic care.

Will Early Orthodontic Treatment Help My Child?

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and is showing some signs that they may be in need of early orthodontic treatment, reach out and set an appointment with us today. This will allow our experienced orthodontists to take a closer look and guide you toward the right treatment for your child. As mentioned above, although these treatments won’t guarantee that your child won’t need orthodontic treatment when they are older, they can help them reduce their total treatment time in the future.

This means that it can shorten the time they will need to wear braces as teenagers or adults. In addition to this, early orthodontic treatment can help them grow and develop in a better way. By dealing with jaw issues early, it can help them develop properly and even avoid issues like having an underbite or overbite in the future.

The best way to learn more or find out about all the ways that early orthodontic treatment will help your child is to bring them in for an in-depth consultation. Here, one of our friendly orthodontists will look at your child’s exact issues and guide you along the right treatment plan that would work best for them.

Get Your Child Early Orthodontic Treatment Today

We know you want to provide the best for your child. Coming in for a consultation with us is a great way to provide your child with quality early orthodontic treatment. Star Orthodontics is committed to providing your child with quality care in the most comfortable environment possible.

If you want to learn more about the services we provide or would like to set up a consultation, feel free to contact us here today. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (704) 845-0600 for guidance from one of our experienced and friendly staff.