A child’s happy smile is always a welcomed sight, but orthodontic health goes way beyond cosmetics. Undiagnosed orthodontic problems can have an impact on a developing child’s ability to speak, chew, breathe, swallow and maintain proper oral hygiene.
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends making the first visit to the orthodontist no later than age 7. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and provide solutions to correct tooth and jaw problems sooner to lessen the need for surgery or teeth extraction.
Early Orthodontic Treatment allows Dr. Chen to Address:
- Mouth breathing or sleep disordered breathing problems
- Finger or thumbsucking habits that won’t go away
- Tongue thrusting or reverse swallow habits
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked out teeth
- Daytime or nighttime grinding of teeth
- Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing food – messy eaters
- Narrow jaws that are affecting speech, breathing, or the bite
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth or front teeth that stick out too far
Your child’s overall Oral Health is very important during treatment.
Patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances require more effort to keep their teeth and gums clean. Because we want to insure the highest level of dental health, we recommend that your child see your family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings at least every 6 months while you are undergoing orthodontic care.
If a child has treatment early, will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?
Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet erupted when early treatment is performed, their final alignment may not have been corrected. Typically, a shortened comprehensive phase of treatment (Phase II – full braces) in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have erupted, completes the correction. However, in some circumstances, further orthodontic treatment may not be needed after Phase 1 therapy.
Dr. Andrew Chen and his staff deliver early orthodontic care to patients with a caring touch, and provide parents with the thorough education they need to make beneficial decisions about their childrens’ oral health. Contact us to learn more!