Dear Parents: Read This If Your Kid Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment 

Orthodontic Treatment For Children

A little knowledge makes a huge difference in maintaining your child’s teeth. 

Not every child needs orthodontic treatment. However, there may be a time when the apple of your eye requires you to avail of orthodontic treatment for children to ensure permanent teeth come through correctly. 

Early orthodontic treatment may reduce the concerns like crooked teeth, crowded teeth and gaps. What are the signs and benefits of early orthodontic treatment? It depends on the specific situations we will discuss in the following paragraphs. 

Before delving deeper, let’s take a brief introduction to early orthodontic treatment. 

What is early orthodontic treatment for children?

It aims to guide the growth of your kid’s teeth and jaw. Also, it corrects the bite or alignment issues before the jaw bone gets hardened. This is divided into two phases. The first one is- Interceptive orthodontics. It starts at 8-9 years of age. The second one starts once your child is 11 years old. 

According to a report, your kid must be screened for orthodontic problems at age seven. Most kids start losing their baby teeth once they’re five years old. Your kid must have a permanent set of teeth by 13 years old. Meanwhile, they may face the issues like crowded teeth, gaps, and crooked teeth. These issues should be treated early. 

When to start orthodontic treatment for children? 

As a parent, you know your kid’s orthodontic evolution. However, you may not know the warning signs of orthodontic issues. It needs immediate attention to catch things in its initial stage. Once detected, taking your kid to your nearest dental clinic is advised to start orthodontic treatment procedures for children. Here are the most common warning signs you must know-

1. Crowded or crooked teeth 

Your kid’s look will look uneven, twisted or slanted due to crowding. It may even cause the teeth to appear in an overlapping fashion. It will make things difficult for your kid to brush and floss. Hence, the chances of plaque formation will be high. Even it can lead to decay, bad breath, gum disease and bone loss around teeth. 

2. Open mouth 

In order to grow the jaws and teeth correctly, the tongue must be positioned on the roof of your kid’s mouth. It will also help develop the upper jaw and the entire face. If the lips are slightly apart, the tongue may not rest on the roof. Hence, it may lead towards receding chins, long and narrow faces, gummy smiles, flat cheeks, and narrow jaws. 

3. Thumb-sucking

Children between the ages of two and four tend to stop thumb-sucking. However, continuing this habit after age six may cause the upper teeth to stick out. On the other hand, the lower teeth would start getting crowded. Hence, it would cause the speech issues like lisping. 

4. Unusual bite 

If your kid’s lower and upper teeth come together to form a bite, it is called malocclusion. This dental issue can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Your child may face lifelong implications if you see this sign and ignore it at the nascent stage. 

5. Misalignment of jaw 

If you detect that your kid’s jaw is shifting, causing them to bite their cheek, you should take your kid to your nearest dental clinic. The misalignment of the jaw and teeth may cause issues with chewing, affecting overall health. 

Types of orthodontic treatment

From crowding to misalignment, there could be various kids’ dental issues. Based on that, orthodontic treatments can vary. Multiple brace treatments are available for your child, from traditional metal braces to ceramic braces. Here are a few popular orthodontic treatments-

1. Traditional braces 

This involves glueing a metal bracket with the teeth. Through the brackets, an archwire connects one molar to another. The wire is placed with small rubber bands. The treatment length may vary depending on the severity of your kid's issue. Usually, this treatment lasts from 1-3 years. 

Your kid needs to visit the orthodontist regularly during the treatment duration. The expert will adjust your child's braces' rubber bands and wire. It will create more tension to shift the teeth accordingly. Your kid may experience discomfort or soreness once the braces get adjusted. 

Types of dental braces

2. Invisalign 

It is a series of removable and clear aligners. These are custom-made to fit your child’s teeth. As the Invisalign is removable, your kid may take out the aligners for drinking, eating, flossing and brushing. 

The orthodontist will use a scanner to create 3D images of your kid’s teeth. Moving forward, the expert will create a treatment plan for your child. 

Based on the 3D images, a set of aligners will be created for your child. Your kid may require regular orthodontic treatments to get a new set of aligners every two weeks. 

3. Ceramic braces

This type of brace is made of clear materials instead of metal. Hence, it makes them less apparent compared to traditional braces. Ceramic braces also need brackets like traditional braces. These brackets would have the archwire held in place along with rubber bands. 

Your child may need to visit the orthodontist regularly to adjust the braces. The orthodontist will adjust the bands and wires to create more tension. Therefore, it will shift your kid’s teeth to the proper place. The duration of treatment is the same as traditional braces. 

Benefits of orthodontic treatment 

Early orthodontic treatment has significant benefits- 

  • If your kid has spacing or alignment problems, early orthodontic treatment can fix the jaws in a proper position. 
  • Orthodontic braces can ensure that lower and upper dental arches don’t get narrower than they should be. 
  • Early orthodontic treatment ensures tooth impaction during erupting teeth. 
  • Usage of braces in a nascent stage can guide your kids’ permanent teeth into the right position. 
  • Braces can help to reduce speech problems, mouth breathing, abnormal swallowing and other issues caused by misaligned jaws. 
  • Early orthodontic treatment can reduce thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and other bad habits affecting tooth and bite positions.
  • Early orthodontic treatment can reduce the protrusion of front teeth. Hence, it reduces the risk of trauma and injury to your child’s teeth. 

Our orthodontists can help your kid

Discovering the signs of dental issues in your kid needs expert intervention, while addressing them at the same time. An orthodontist is your best ally in caring for your kid’s teeth. At Magnum Clinic, we have vetted orthodontists to help you with the answers you need to fight your child's dental issues. Schedule your appointment today.