The Valuable Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children
When it comes to your child’s oral health, it’s important to consider early orthodontic treatment when it is time. Early orthodontic treatment offers children a wide range of benefits, from better oral health to improved self-esteem.
In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the top benefits of early orthodontic treatment for children. Through this guide, you will gain a better understanding of exactly what early orthodontic treatment is and the many advantages of getting your child started with an orthodontist sooner rather than later.
What is Early Orthodontic Treatment Exactly?
Early orthodontic treatment is a process that focuses on the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities while children are still in a state of growth. Commonly referred to as interceptive orthodontics, this form of treatment can be used to correct problems such as crowding, incorrect jaw position, misalignment of teeth, and other conditions that can cause long-term problems if left untreated.
Unlike traditional orthodontic care that is often provided to patients in later adolescence or adulthood, early orthodontic care is designed to intervene as early as possible to help children avoid more serious issues that may arise later in life if the misalignment is not addressed at a younger age.
The length of early orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient. Generally, the process can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months, depending on the severity of the issue and the type of treatment required.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment can provide children with several valuable benefits, from improved comfort and aesthetic appeal to enhanced oral health. Here are some of the most important benefits of early orthodontic treatment for children:
Improved Oral Health Over the Long Term
Early orthodontic treatment can help reduce the risk of oral health problems in children by addressing problems such as crowding, incorrect jaw position, and misalignment of teeth as early as possible.
By correcting the alignment of teeth and jaw, orthodontic treatment can improve the ability of the child to clean their teeth properly, reducing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. As a result, children can enjoy better oral health and a stronger, more attractive smile, while avoiding the discomfort and cost of extensive restorative treatments down the road.
Better Speech and Improved Oral Function
Your child’s speech and oral function can also be improved by early orthodontic treatment. Misaligned teeth can make it difficult for children to produce certain sounds correctly. When teeth are properly aligned, children can form sounds correctly, making it easier for them to articulate words and sentences.
Additionally, with properly aligned teeth, children can enjoy better oral function. This can help them chew food more efficiently, thus improving their overall nutrition.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Misaligned teeth or jaws can put children at greater risk of injury. By correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaw, orthodontic treatment can reduce the risk of biting or chewing injuries, as well as reduce the risk of injury caused by protruding teeth. As a result, children can enjoy a more comfortable, safer experience while eating and playing.
Enhanced Facial Structure
Early orthodontic treatment can also help enhance the facial structure of growing children. By correcting misalignments, orthodontic treatment can help improve the symmetry of the face, while promoting facial growth in the right directions. As a result, children can enjoy improved facial aesthetics and a more attractive smile.
Studies have found that children with straight teeth tend to be more confident in their smiles and have increased self-confidence and self-esteem. By correcting misalignments and improving the overall aesthetics of the smile, children can feel more comfortable in social settings and interact more confidently with peers.
More Comfortable Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment is often more comfortable for children than later treatment because it can help avoid or reduce more complex orthodontic work in the future, as it can be completed before the bones and teeth are fully developed. By addressing issues early, the teeth can be moved with less pressure, which is less uncomfortable for young children.
Reduced Overall Treatment Time
Early orthodontic treatment can reduce treatment times significantly, allowing patients to achieve the desired results in a shorter time frame. This is because early treatment can help to prevent more serious problems from developing, as well as correct existing issues while the patient is still growing. So, by reducing the amount of time spent in braces and other orthodontic appliances, it will ultimately save you both time and money.
When Children Should Start Early Orthodontic Treatment
Ideally, children should have their first orthodontic evaluation and begin treatment (as needed) around the age of seven. At this age, the child’s permanent teeth have started to emerge and the jaw is close to its final shape. The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it can be in correcting any potential issues.
For a more in-depth answer to this common question, take a look at our article on when a child should see an orthodontist.
Utilize Early Orthodontic Treatment to Help Achieve Your Child’s Best Smile
As you can see, early orthodontic treatment for children has numerous benefits. By receiving early treatment, children can avoid more serious dental issues, such as overcrowding, malocclusion, problems caused by abnormal eruption, and TMJ disorders. Early orthodontic treatment also helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay and can improve the overall appearance of the teeth and jaw. Additionally, early orthodontic treatment can reduce the amount of time and money spent on orthodontic treatment in the future.
It is important to note that early orthodontic treatment is not necessary for all children. You should discuss your child’s particular needs and risks with a qualified orthodontist (like you’ll find here at Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics) who can provide personalized advice and treatment options.
Ultimately, early orthodontic treatment may be the best choice for many children, as it can help them to avoid more serious dental issues and improve their overall oral health.
Here at Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics, we aim to create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere in order to cultivate a positive relationship with your child. This way we can provide any treatment that may be needed from an early age and give your child the beautiful, straight smile they deserve.
Should you have any questions concerning children’s orthodontics, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are here to help!
Schedule an appointment for your child today!