Why Correct Crooked Teeth In Young Children?
If your young child doesn’t have any gaps between their baby teeth or already has crooked teeth then it is almost inevitable that they will end up with crooked teeth as an adult, as their permanent teeth will be considerably larger than their primary teeth and less able to erupt correctly. Crooked teeth can be due to oral habits or facial asymmetry and are often associated with narrow jaws. This can restrict breathing, affecting a child’s ability to sleep soundly at night, and this in turn could affect their ability to pay attention at school and to learn so they can achieve their fullest potential academically.
When is The Best Time for Children to Begin Orthodontics?
Although orthodontics can take place at any age, there is an optimal period for children to begin treatment. This helps ensure the best results, often reducing the time needed for treatment later on. Ideally, your child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 but they may benefit from earlier treatment.
Why Seek an Evaluation By Age 7?
This may seem very young, but by this stage your child’s adult molars are beginning to erupt, establishing the relationship of their back teeth. This enables Dr Con Lakoumentas to not only to evaluate their bite and to see if any problems with malocclusion are developing, but also to assess their whole face development, so treatment may enable the child to reach their best potential. As the incisors come through, it is possible to see if a child will develop problems such as an open bite, crossbite or issues with overcrowding.
Can Treatment Begin Sooner than Age 7?
Yes, sometimes even between the ages of 4 and 6. This might be useful if a child’s jaws are not developing correctly or if they have lost their milk or primary teeth too soon. Problems can arise if they suck their thumb or fingers, and early treatment can be very successful in correcting these issues.
What are the Main Benefits of an Early Orthodontic Evaluation?
An early evaluation enables Dr Con Lakoumentas to plan the best time for treatment, taking advantage of your child’s growth and development to guide the teeth and jaws into better positions. This can help prevent more serious problems developing later on and may reduce or eliminate the need to extract healthy teeth at a later date, something that is all too common when orthodontic treatment is deferred until a child reaches their teens. Starting treatment early on can provide the best results, particularly because upper jaw development is largely completed in 80% of 7 year olds. Treatment at Thompson Road Dental Services is based on achieving whole facial balance, so children may benefit from teeth and jaws that function correctly and can enjoy having a pleasing profile for life, increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence.
What Can Early Treatment Help Achieve?
Some of the main advantages of early treatment include:
- Creating facial symmetry through ensuring the jaws develop evenly
- Ensuring there is sufficient room for teeth that have yet to erupt
- Reducing the need for teeth extractions
- Reducing the time required for orthodontic treatment during the early teens
- Improving self-confidence (kids don’t smile if they have crooked teeth)
- Improving the airway, enabling a child to close their mouth and breathe normally through their nose
- Improving concentration at school as kids who have severe airway obstructions will often suffer from excessive sleepiness during the day or from hyperactivity.