We believe that early treatment is the key to preventing long and costly orthodontic treatment as well as promoting healthy dental habits. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends having the first orthodontic consultation at age 7. This does not mean that your child will have orthodontic treatment at this age but we will monitor for any facial growth and dental development issues that can start at this age.
At Braceland Orthodontics, we believe that each child is different and the best time to treat varies between individuals. Full braces or Invisalign® is usually done when all adult teeth are erupted. However, in many cases orthopedic or interceptive treatment must be recommended earlier if the development of the jaw bones or teeth is not going according to norm. Treating early can prevent other problems that can be too late to treat once all the premanent teeth are in. This is why at Braceland Orthodontics, we recommend having the first consult at age 7. After that, we can place patients on an observation program to monitor their facial growth until they are ready for treatment.
At Braceland, we believe that early evaluations provide the timeliest detection and the greatest opportunity for successful treatment. There are certain jaw growth issues that have a time window to be treated and detecting them early is the only way to prevent missing that window. In many cases, these issues can be too late to treat when all permanent teeth erupt, which is approximately around age 12. This includes intervention to prevent any serious problems in the future or, if intervention is not necessary, proper monitoring of growth and development in order to start treatment at the optimal time.
Though circumstances may vary per patient, below are a few signs that may indicate a need for early treatment:
Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing baby teeth around age five and will have all permanent teeth by age 13).
Difficulty chewing and/or biting
Breathing through the mouth
Continuance of thumb sucking past age five
Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes the mouth
Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight.
While each patient will, of course, have different needs, the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Reducing the need for tooth removal
Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
Reducing treatment time with braces
Orthodontic treatment is not only meant to improve the aesthetics of your smile, but also has an even more important health and functional rationale behind it. Bad bites, also called malocclusions, are the result of a misaligned jaw or teeth and can not only affect your smile, but also the way you clean your teeth, gums, chewing and the way the teeth wear down over time.
Treating malocclusions can assist with correcting crossbites and overbites, protruding teeth that are more vulnerable to chipping, and crowding amongst other common orthodontic issues.