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Early Prevention

Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment, and why might my child need early treatment? 

At Innovative Family Dentistry we love early interceptive orthodontic treatment and here is why:

  1. Helping teeth erupt into the proper position is easier, faster and less expensive than conventional braces
  2. It requires less visits, no brackets which means it is easier to clean, and is less invasive for the patients
  3. It is less expensive than conventional braces with as many as 80% not requiring further treatment.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • A deep bite at age five to seven where you cannot see your child's lower front teeth
  • Crowded front teeth around age five to seven
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • 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 his or her mouth (crossbite)

What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early prevention benefit my child?

Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.

Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, as well as minimizing the need for extraction or surgery in the future.

If your child is between the ages of five to seven and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, please contact our practice to schedule a free consultation and panoramic x-ray with one of our doctors. Our team will provide your child with an initial evaluation and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.