The Importance of Early Orthodontic Treatment: How to Detect and Correct Issues Before They Worsen

January 24, 2023

When it comes to your child's dental health, it's important to not only focus on daily oral hygiene habits but also consider the long-term health of their teeth and jaw. Orthodontic treatment plays a crucial role in ensuring a healthy smile, and early detection and correction of issues can save time, money, and discomfort in the future.

Here's why early orthodontic treatment is so important and how to detect and correct issues before they worsen:

Why Early Orthodontic Treatment is Important

Orthodontic treatment can correct a wide range of issues such as overcrowding, spacing, and misaligned teeth. These issues not only affect the appearance of your child's smile but can also cause problems with chewing, speaking, and even breathing.

Early orthodontic treatment is important because it allows orthodontists to detect and correct issues before they worsen. By starting treatment early, your child's orthodontist can guide the growth and development of their jaw and teeth, which can prevent the need for more extensive and invasive treatment later on.

Detecting Orthodontic Issues Early On

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This is because many orthodontic issues can be detected at an early age, even before all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

Here are some signs that your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Speech difficulties

If you notice any of these issues, it's important to schedule an orthodontic evaluation for your child.

Correcting Orthodontic Issues Early On

If your child's orthodontist detects an issue, they may recommend early orthodontic treatment. This can include the use of orthodontic appliances such as braces, expanders, and headgear to guide the growth and development of your child's teeth and jaw.

Early orthodontic treatment can also help prevent more extensive and invasive treatment later on, such as tooth extractions or jaw surgery.

In addition to orthodontic treatment, it's important to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

By focusing on early orthodontic treatment and good oral hygiene habits, you can help ensure that your child has a healthy and beautiful smile for life.