Is it too early for orthodontics? What are the pros and cons of early orthodontics? We get these questions a lot. Many parents want to be proactive about their children’s teeth, but naturally don’t want to do it wrong. And, no one wants to spend money they don’t have to. So, how do you know when it is right for your child to see the orthodontist?
Bring your child for an orthodontic evaluation before age 7.
This is the best time for an orthodontic evaluation, when your child’s teeth and gums are still developing. Your orthodontist can spot and fix problems before they happen or become worse. The result? Better outcomes, shorter treatment time during full braces and great reduction in the complexity of problems your child may face.
Early treatment is called interceptive orthodontics or “phase 1.”
True to its name, your orthodontist can intercept issues while your child’s gums and jawbones are at their most pliable.
These issues include:
- Crossbites (a narrow arch biting awkwardly with opposing teeth)
- Space stealing by other erupting teeth when baby teeth are lost too early
- Inadequate space for proper and timely eruption of future teeth
- Crowding/shark teeth
- Severely protruding teeth prone to social and physical trauma
Solving these problems early means solving them effectively and efficiently.
Having the proper number of primary/baby teeth in the right position will help your child’s jaw alignment and development. These teeth play a huge role in the proper development and eruption of the permanent teeth (which erupt from ages 7 to 12).
Correcting crossbites, especially when they cause abnormal biting patterns, will help your child grow a symmetrical smile and jawline. These problems must be fixed before the major pubertal growth spurt of permanent facial asymmetry will be the result.
Because “shark teeth” and overcrowding can affect bite and even injure the cheek and tongue, interceptive orthodontics also indirectly affect your child’s nutrition and speech development.
Speak to one of our board-certified orthodontists who can make the best recommendations on what they can fix now, and what can best wait later for better treatment during your child’s growth spurt. Our orthodontists pride themselves on honest and clear explanation of the findings of your child’s orthodontic examination. We try to use efficient and targeted interceptive orthodontic techniques to reduce cost, complexity and treatment time.
We know that the biggest downside to early orthodontic treatment can be patient burnout as many children will still need comprehensive/phase 2 treatment in the future. Take heart in the knowledge that phase 2 will be easier for your child if it is necessary after interceptive treatment goals have been achieved.
It can also be overwhelming for little kids to brush while they have braces. But our orthodontists can be their new friend. We specialize in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics so our doctors are experts in visual and verbal explanations to encourage and motivate your child before, during, and after treatment.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.