Although adolescence is considered the optimal time for orthodontic treatment, there're a few instances where early intervention is necessary, depending on your child's teeth development. Orthodontic problems don't disappear or improve with age. On the contrary, they get harder to treat. It is important that you take your child to an orthodontist as early as possible, between the ages of 7 and 9 years, for early diagnosis and intervention.
When orthodontic treatment is given to young children, it is referred to as interceptive orthodontics. While early treatment is not applicable to all orthodontic issues, it can be helpful in certain cases, such as protruding front teeth and crossbites. Teeth that stick out can be easily injured or fractured in a nasty fall or accident. A crossbite, on the other hand, can cause the jaw to develop unevenly.
At Olive Orthodontics, we customize the treatment plan for each of our young patients. Depending on the problem being addressed, your child may need to wear braces for 1 to 3 years. After the treatment, a retainer is worn to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original position. Although your child may experience a little discomfort during treatment, modern braces are more comfortable and aesthetic, so there's virtually no impact on social life.
Other orthodontic appliances that may be recommended include space maintainers and a palatal expander. Space maintainers can be used to hold that space until the adult tooth erupts. Palatal expanders reduce crowding by expanding the upper dental arch to allow enough space for the permanent teeth to grow and decrease airway resistance allowing for easier breathing and an improved quality of life.
Headgear or rubber bands (elastics) may be necessary to exert external force to move the teeth and jaws into the correct position. The headgear is removable and is only attached to the braces from the back of the head at night.
If any problems are detected, your orthodontist will commence early treatment where possible to prevent further problems from developing. In some cases, very little additional treatment may be needed when your child is older to complete the teeth/jaw alignment process. Visit us today for early evaluation and treatment.
If you have any questions regarding the services we provide, please call our office at (314) 274-1477.