Your child’s smile is a big part of who they are, and the state of their smile can impact their confidence, self-esteem, and even how others perceive them. As they grow older, you want them to be able to maintain that smile you love. The best way to ensure this is to seek early childhood evaluations with an orthopedic office. At Ollins Orthodontics, we want your child’s oral health to stay in pristine shape as they grow older. To help out, let’s take a look at why early childhood evaluations are a great way to keep your child’s smile happy and healthy.
The Benefits of Early Childhood Evaluations
Catching problems early is the best way to prevent them from worsening over time. As one of the most common procedures that both young people and adults experience, getting started with orthodontic treatment at an early age is essential for many reasons. Let’s take a look at why these early evaluations matter.
There are many benefits to bringing children to the orthodontist’s office from a young age. Introducing a seven-year-old to an orthodontist can help ease the stress and anxiety that often surrounds orthodontic treatment for older patients. The earlier they get used to visiting the office, the earlier they’ll become accustomed to it, which can also extend to visits to other kinds of medical offices.
Treating orthodontic issues early in a child’s life can help avoid larger, more complex dental problems in the future. This is because a seven-year-old’s jaw is still developing, so there is far more room to redirect growth on the front end than to correct it on the back end when the child’s jaw structure has already become permanent.
By detecting subtle changes in jaw structure and tracking them from age seven and onward, your child’s orthodontist has a better chance of preventing any misalignments. Early screenings can work to prevent the need for oral surgery, as well as direct jaw growth, lower the risk of injury to protruding or intruding teeth, and improve the appearance of your child’s teeth overall. On top of that, there are specific dental issues that an orthodontist can detect at an early age. By having an orthodontist track your child’s teeth before they’ve lost all of their baby teeth, future conditions can be accounted for.
Braces can be an expensive form of treatment, a fact that can be a deterrent to those considering seeing an orthodontist. However, early treatment starting at age seven can prevent, and sometimes even eliminate, the need for expensive treatments methods. Early intervention allows orthodontists to track the growth of a child’s jaw alignment as it develops, and so our team will be able to guide growth in a direction that naturally addresses potential problems down the line. Early intervention also allows orthodontists to preview more serious dental issues that may arise later in a child’s life and eliminate the need for expensive surgeries.
Better Results Overall
When you strip away the anxiety, preventable treatments, and expenses that come with major dental problems, the results achieved through early intervention are much better and more satisfying for patients overall. You’ll have a better idea of when your child will need braces later on, and you’ll have already addressed a range of potential dental problems from the start of their orthodontic journey. The thorough nature of early, long-term tracking means that your child’s smile will be more aligned and stay straight longer than patients who started treatment when they’re older. In short, starting off on the right foot of orthodontics sets your child up for orthodontic success in the future.
Consult an Orthodontist at Any Age
Although the typical time for a first visit is seven years old, it’s important to make an appointment for your child any time you notice any problems. If your child’s teeth appear excessively crowded or if they are having difficulty chewing, it may be time for another trip to the orthodontist’s office.
What does early treatment consist of?
Early treatment can help prevent more serious orthodontic problems from developing. It can also ensure that any treatment your child receives when they’re older is less complicated and shorter in length. In some cases, our team will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Our office of experts has the education, skills, and experience to choose the optimal time for your child’s treatment. Children receive braces at different times, but orthodontic treatment most typically begins between nine to fourteen years old. Starting treatment at the most appropriate time will give us the best chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve your child’s appearance and increase their self-confidence
- Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position
How do I know my child needs early treatment?
It can be tricky to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem while they are very young. However, there are some issues to look out for that may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. These include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet (or meet in an abnormal way)
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
You’re in safe hands at Ollins Orthodontics
Your child’s smile deserves exceptional treatment, and this requires an exceptional team to guide them along the way. At Ollins Orthodontics, our specialized approach allows us to offer our patients, both young and old, the best quality, cost, and efficiency in treatment.
If you’re in Essex County, and in need or curious about treatment, give us a call and explore all the ways that an experienced orthodontist can improve your smile. Dr. Ollins and his team are dedicated to providing personalized treatment that’s affordable and efficient!