Early orthodontic treatment corrects orthodontic irregularities in children in the early stages. The treatments have a higher chance of working because the oral structure is still forming. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic screening before a child turns 7.
At Reynolds & Stoner Orthodontics, we use early orthodontic treatment to ensure your child’s teeth grow and develop properly. We recommend bringing in your child for a consultation to confirm if they are a candidate for preventative treatment.
During the consultation, we will analyze the placement and structure of developing teeth and facial bones. We look for any signs of future misalignments and abnormalities while evaluating the child’s breathing habits. If your child is not a candidate for early orthodontic treatment, we can provide general oral care guidance and monitor their oral development through the years.
How To Tell If Your Child May Need Early Treatment
Your child may need early orthodontic treatment if they have any of the following symptoms:
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Late or an early loss of baby teeth
- Crowded, protruding, or crooked teeth
- Speech impediments
- Thumb sucking or pacifier use at four years and above
- Disproportionate teeth and jaws
However, the best way to know if your child is a candidate for early orthodontic treatment is to bring them in for a professional evaluation.
At Reynolds & Stoner Orthodontics, we provide a definitive diagnosis, easing any worries about your child’s oral health. If we uncover any problems, we’ll devise a treatment plan to kickstart a correction.
Our orthodontists have years of experience working with children. You can rest assured that your child will receive the best possible orthodontic care in a conducive and child-friendly environment.
Early Prevention Is Key To Lifelong Oral Health
Early orthodontic treatment gives your child a strong oral health foundation.
Jaw development is only 60% complete by the time your child turns eight years old. By their 12th birthday, it is 90% complete. Treating oral health problems before the completion of jaw development speeds up the treatment process and is generally more comfortable for the patient.
Additionally, early correction of orthodontic issues is the best way to avoid major and more costly procedures in the future. For example, by correcting malocclusion before their jaw finishes developing, we can prevent the need to remove permanent teeth in your child’s adult years.
Early Prevention Stages
The stages of early orthodontic treatment include Phase I and Phase II.
In this stage, the treatment focuses on correcting bite, cultivating good oral hygiene habits, treating orthodontic problems, guiding jaw development, and guiding teeth eruption.
This stage focuses on starting the corrections necessary to give your child the perfect oral health foundation.
At this stage of early orthodontic treatment, we introduce braces to provide stability and help your child’s teeth settle into the proper position. Phase II often starts when the child is between 11 and 15 years old. In addition, improving bite and teeth placement during the first phase of early treatment often shortens the child’s braces timeline.