Is there anything cuter than a little kid with just one bottom tooth?

You remember when your child’s first tooth came through. That’s because teething comes with much screaming and very little sleeping!  

Thank goodness that stage has passed right? Or has it? Sure your child isn’t a teething baby anymore, but their teeth still need attention. 

So, what does the straightness of your child’s teeth have to do with their health? Is early orthodontic treatment really necessary? What’s the best age to see an orthodontist?

These are very good questions. And, the answers do matter! 

Why Orthodontics? 

Orthodontics helps to improve the adjustment or positioning of your teeth. This allows your teeth and jaw to do their jobs better. The benefit to your appearance isn’t the primary goal of orthodontic treatments.

If you have crooked teeth, there are implications for your joints and muscles. These complications can even cause pain and headaches.

Yes, orthodontic treatment is important for your health – not just for your looks!

Ongoing orthodontic treatments are good for the strength of your mouth in the long run. It balances the pressure on your teeth. Looking after your teeth helps them last as long as they should. 

Does Age Matter?

Once children turn seven, parents should take them for an orthodontic evaluation. It’s recommended that the screening consultation happen before all permanent teeth have erupted, according to the American Association of Orthodontics

Age does matter for orthodontic treatment. 

Treatment for Children

Permanent teeth come through between the ages of seven and ten. Screening means that certain orthodontic issues can be prevented. And, it means your child’s braces can be fitted at the appropriate time.

Early orthodontic treatment offers a greater opportunity for more effective results. Between these ages, your child has the best combination of baby and adult teeth.

Remember, your child doesn’t necessarily need treatment if they have an orthodontic screening.

What does a screening involve? The orthodontist will assess your child’s upper and lower jaw formation.

They will also take a look at the position of new teeth and identify any impacted or ectopic canines.

Teen treatment (phase 2) is done between twelve and sixteen years of age once the adult teeth are in place. This is a full orthodontic treatment to reposition all the teeth, improving jaw function.

Delaying Treatment

As adults, our jawbones are fully developed and set in place. This means that most orthodontic services and processes take longer. And to be fair, fixing jaw-related issues isn’t a simple task.

However, children’s jaws have softer formations, allowing new growth to occur.

Your child’s jaw sutures fuse into place at the age of nine. So, it’s definitely better to do any necessary upper palate expansion before then. 

Yes, it’s true that adults can get braces. But the optimum time for corrective action is when your jaws, teeth, gums, and bones are young. It’s very challenging to widen the arch once adulthood is reached. 

There’s no guarantee that your child will still be a candidate for orthodontic treatment once s/he has reached adulthood. It’s more difficult to correct orthodontic problems in adults than it is in children.

Here’s the takeaway: minor adjustments now are more effective and less painful than major adjustments later on.

Yes, orthodontic treatment is more effective when it’s done early. 

Not Just for Looks

Orthodontic treatment goes further than an aesthetically pleasing smile. It’s important to your child’s overall health. 

Dental health improves because it’s easier to look after straight teeth. Plus better care at home means fewer dental issues to worry about (think of tooth decay and gum disease). 

Proper tooth alignment also enables easier chewing. This in turn relates to improved digestion and nutrient absorption. 

There are mental and emotional implications too. Self-confidence is a major factor for children entering their teen years. A healthy smile with straight teeth is one less thing for a self-conscious teen to worry about

Here’s a quick summary of the dental problems associated with misaligned teeth:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease 
  • Problems with chewing and digesting food
  • Erosion of tooth enamel 
  • Damage to the bone that supports teeth
  • Unnecessary loss of teeth

Untreated orthodontic problems often worsen with age. Delaying treatment may even contribute to a variety of unpleasant dental problems.

Completing orthodontic treatment sooner is better than the restorative measures later.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

An orthodontist’s first visit doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience.

When your child is used to regular visits to the dentist, having an early screening won’t be intimidating. A professional orthodontic service will also expertly set children at ease. 

There are also new ways that your orthodontist supports your treatment such as dental monitoring.

This is an app that helps your child keep track of his/her treatment. It also offers ongoing treatment, creating an additional link between doctor and patient. 

Remember, there are so many advantages of having early orthodontic treatment. 

Here are ten of the benefits:

  1. Treatment is easier
  2. Costs less time and money
  3. Space for permanent teeth is created
  4. Protects teeth from breakage, cracks, and fractures
  5. Prevents future painful dental issues
  6. Better for your child’s overall health  
  7. Clears up some speech difficulties
  8. Promotes better self-confidence
  9. Corrects issues associated with under, over, and crossbites 
  10. Straightens teeth, improving smile and jaw structure 

Additionally, the benefits of orthodontic treatment are lifelong. Seeing the orthodontist may seem like a big investment. But it’s a medical treatment that offers so much more than cosmetic outcomes.

Braces Are Best!

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of early orthodontic treatment.

But, getting your child’s teeth properly aligned comes with so many benefits. Not just for looks, but for overall health too! 

Your teeth can last a lifetime, and they should! Investing in braces does wonders for the long-term care of your child’s teeth. The effects last throughout childhood and beyond. 

Don’t delay! Book an appointment for your child’s first complimentary screening. And you don’t have to do a search for an orthodontist near me… You can make an appointment here.