Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on ensuring the teeth are properly aligned, thus preventing long-term issues with excessive wear, TMD, or other problems. In the past, it’s been traditional to have orthodontic treatment during adolescence, but more recently, new techniques have been developed that allow for earlier intervention and better results than traditional adolescent braces.
It’s important to take your child for regular dental visits from an early age not only to keep their teeth healthy and prevent cavities, but also to evaluate the positioning of the teeth and determine if there is a need for orthodontic treatment. Your dentist can tell from the positioning of the permanent teeth as they begin to arrive whether orthodontics is likely to be necessary. He can also suggest early intervention methods that can reduce the need for braces as your child grows older.
With early intervention, your child’s teeth can be prepared for later orthodontic work, or corrections can be made that will reduce or even eliminate the need for braces as your child grows older. These methods can include:
Guiding growth of the teeth, palate, and facial bones can make a big difference in the way your child’s teeth emerge and how much intervention will be necessary as they get older.
In the past, most orthodontists would reserve braces or other treatment until all the permanent teeth had arrived. Now, however, orthodontists look closely at your child’s individual situation and prognosis to determine the best time to start orthodontic treatment. Recommendations are based on X-rays that show where the baby teeth are positioned in the jaw as well as projections regarding jawbone growth and other factors.
Based on these evaluations, your child’s dentist or orthodontist can determine the best time to begin treatment as well as the best treatment to use to ensure your child will have strong, healthy teeth and a straight, beautiful smile.
Call us to ask any questions you may have!