Children are warmly welcomed here at City Dental, and we like nothing more than seeing our younger patients regularly so we can keep a close eye on the development of their teeth and jaws. We will recommend an early orthodontic evaluation if we feel this could benefit your child’s oral health and development.
An early orthodontic evaluation can be performed by an orthodontist when a child is aged six or seven because, at this stage, the orthodontist can assess how the child’s teeth and jaws will develop. They can evaluate if a child is likely to develop any orthodontic problems and determine the most appropriate treatments to correct them and the optimal age for treatment.
Some children benefit from early treatment if they have oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing, or tongue thrusting. These habits can affect the shape of the upper jaw, causing a narrower jaw and potentially bite problems. Often these problems are treatable with removable oral appliances such as palatal expanders and which can widen the upper jaw, guiding it into the proper shape and correcting potential problems with tooth overcrowding or misalignment. Other problems that can benefit from treatment include early tooth loss and where space maintainers help to hold open the correct amount of space for adult teeth to erupt normally.
Although we may suggest an early orthodontic evaluation, it won’t necessarily mean your child will need treatment straight away, but it does allow us to plan future treatment phases more accurately.
The information provided during this evaluation enables us to provide suitable treatment that is frequently timed to coincide with growth spurts so that we can guide the growth of their jaws more successfully. When we can guide jaw growth more accurately, we can help to create a more attractive facial profile, with a broader, evenly aligned smile. Early treatment is more likely to ensure there is enough room for adult teeth to erupt properly, so there is less need for tooth extractions. Early treatment can help to reduce the need for orthodontics during adolescence. If your child does need to wear braces during their teens, it is more likely to help create a cosmetically perfect smile than to correct major issues with tooth misalignment.