Orthodontic Treatment and Braces for Children
When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to start treatment. The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur no later than age 7 or at the first sign of an orthodontic problem. At this early stage, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, which prevents serious problems at a later stage. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the adult first molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate the developing smile as well as the bite in the front and back. For example, the presence of erupting incisors in the front can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening will help eliminate these problems at an earlier stage to produce a beautiful smile and a comfortable bite.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
The main benefits of interceptive treatment include:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is important not only for improving the aesthetics of the smile but also for correcting bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontics, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
- Openbites can result in tongue thrusting habits and speech impediments
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile - it creates a healthier you.
Expansion Appliances and Orthodontic Plates
Two of the most effective orthodontic treatments for children that Perfect Smiles recommends are the:
- Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME)
- Orthodontic Plate
Please contact Perfect Smiles Orthodontics to find out more about these treatments or learn more about other orthodontic appliances here.