Wearing of braces has become a popular trend between the younger generations. This may it be due to teeth problems or for cosmetic reasons. This is not to say that braces are only worn during the teen years. However, dental problems such as malocclusions, often termed as “bad bites”, almost always show up in early age groups. It is more appropriate to treat this condition at the soonest possible time – ideally at that early age. It may be more difficult to treat the child’s problem if we wait for all permanent teeth to come out. It is better to provide orthodontic treatment at an earlier age, if possible, for the purpose of preventing worsening of the orthodontic condition.
Why the Need for Early Care?
Having early treatment is also termed as Interceptive Orthodontics, which is typically given at the age range of 7 to 10. The goal of this treatment is to take advantage of the growth spurt of the child so as to provide enough space for the future adult teeth to align. When this is done, future orthodontic treatments, as the child ages, will be of a shorter duration and less complex in nature. This can also avoid complicated and serious conditions from happening in the first place.
Here are some of the reasons for early orthodontic treatment:
2) Crowding of teeth
3) Harmful oral habits (such as thumb sucking, tongue thrust)
4) Jaw discrepancies
5) Protrusion of the front teeth, also termed as “buck teeth”
A Window of Opportunity for best Orthodontic results
Traditional orthodontic treatments like dental braces and removable orthodontic appliances (often referred to by parents as “retainers”) involve treating the permanent adult teeth. More recent modalities include removable and fixed orthodontic appliances that look like “retainers” to expand and/or position the jaws. Their length of treatment varies per condition and age of the child. This can be from as short as 6 months to as long as 24 months.
But the good thing about having these treatments at an earlier age is that there is opportunity to vastly improve the condition of the patient’s tooth and jaw development. In this way, a more invasive treatment, such as teeth removal or jaw surgery can be minimized or eliminated from the treatment plan.
Today’s orthodontic facilities and clinics are up to date and have highly specialized equipment and tools as well as staff that is properly trained to address the demand in orthodontic needs.