A straight smile is important at any age. However, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child’ first visit to an orthodontic specialist take place no later than age of 7. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crowding, crossbites, overbites, underbites and harmful habits can be evaluated. And while treatment may not be started until years later, this early examination allows the orthodontist to detect problems and plan for future treatment at an appropriate time.
When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Most orthodontists prefer to correct dental facial problems with the use of orthodontic functional appliances rather than with invasive surgery. In most cases, the problems can be resolved with the proper use of these orthodontic appliances, at the right age for a growing patient only. These appliances are used in order to prevent improper growth and redirect the bone structure to the right position to allow for proper dental facial growth.
Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early intervention can simplify and shorten later treatment.
If it is determined that early treatment is not necessary at this time, we will place your child in a complimentary observation program which allows D. Radu to regularly examine and monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws, until ready for treatment, if necessary.
Often, a second phase will be needed to align all permanent teeth, once they are all erupted.
- misplaced teeth, severe crowding or spacing
- bite problems: protrusion, deep bites, underbites, crossbites
- difficulty in chewing or biting and jaws that shift and make noise
- early or late loss of baby teeth, missing teeth
- thumb, lip or finger sucking, speech difficulty, grinding or clenching of teeth with signs of enamel wear
If you catch certain problems early enough, our early treatment procedures can be as short as 6-12 months.