Although there’s no exact age for children to start orthodontic treatment, it’s recommended that children around the age of seven begin visiting an orthodontist.
For most parents it’s not easy to know if your child may require orthodontic treatment. Although treatment won’t usually begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, it’s helpful in determining whether your child has any problems early.
By the age of seven, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth, which makes it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems. Early treatment can also be beneficial financially, to correct potential problems early while the child is still developing.
Early treatment is an effective interceptive measure that will lay the groundwork for a healthy and well-functioning mouth throughout adulthood.
How does early orthodontic treatment work?
Early orthodontic treatment starts when a child’s jaw bones are still soft (the jaw bones don’t harden until the child reaches their late teens). As the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures work faster and more effectively compared with teens and adults.
Crooked teeth can cause an uneven tooth surface which makes it more difficult to clean and it can be extremely difficult for them to ensure their oral health. By straightening children’s smiles early and aligning their bite, this makes brushing and flossing easier which means a reduced risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.
Benefits of early treatment
Early treatment permits your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of a child’s jaw to assist in the development of adult teeth
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Make more space for crowded teeth
- Prevention of impacted teeth (including the damage they can cause to their neighbouring teeth)
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions in later life
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
- Improve breathing patterns and the reduction of childhood sleep apnoea and snoring
Early orthodontic treatment at Smileworx Orthodontics
If you think your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment, only a specialised orthodontist like the ones at Smileworx Orthodontics have the training, experience and knowledge to determine the most appropriate treatment options. The best time to start treatment will depend on each individual child’s case, and when you see Smileworx Orthodontics your child will be in the best hands.
For more information on early orthodontic treatment or to book your child in for a consultation, contact Smileworx Orthodontics today.