It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s dental health, and that includes their orthodontic needs. Many parents may believe that orthodontic treatment isn’t necessary until their child’s permanent teeth have come in, but the truth is, early orthodontic evaluations can help prevent problems down the line and save you money in the long run.
Early orthodontic evaluations should begin around the age of 7. At this age, your child’s permanent teeth are beginning to come in, and their jaw and facial bones are still developing. An orthodontic evaluation can help identify any potential problems early on and determine the best course of treatment.
Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
While early treatment is not necessary, there are several advantages to bringing your child in for an early orthodontic evaluation:
- Early detection of problems: An orthodontic evaluation can help detect potential problems, such as overcrowding, crossbite, or overbite, before they become more severe. Early detection can lead to more effective treatment and can prevent more significant problems down the line.
- Preventative treatment: Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent more significant problems from developing. For example, if your child has a narrow palate, early orthodontic treatment can help widen it before the permanent teeth come in, preventing overcrowding and the need for extractions later on.
- Reduced treatment time: Early orthodontic treatment can reduce the amount of time your child will need to wear braces or other orthodontic appliances. By identifying and correcting problems early on, treatment can be more efficient and effective.
- Improved self-esteem: Orthodontic problems can affect a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Early treatment can help correct these issues and improve your child’s overall well-being.
- Cost savings: Early orthodontic treatment can save you money in the long run. By identifying and treating problems early on, you can prevent more significant problems from developing, which can be more costly to treat.
Signs You Should Consider an Orthodontic Evaluation
If you’re not sure if your child needs an orthodontic evaluation, there are a few signs to look for, including:
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb sucking beyond the age of 5
If you notice any of these signs or are simply unsure, it’s always best to schedule an orthodontic evaluation for your child.
Avoid Larger Issues in the Future
In conclusion, early orthodontic evaluations are essential for maintaining your child’s dental health. The goal of early treatment is to identify issues early on and prevent more significant issues from developing, saving money in the long run. Don’t wait until your child’s permanent teeth have come in to schedule an orthodontic evaluation with a board certified orthodontist – start early and give your child the best chance for a healthy, beautiful smile.