You may have seen our previous posts about how it is highly recommended that children see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old. There are a couple reasons for this. An orthodontist, like Dr. Johnson, can periodically observe the growth and eruption of permanent teeth to make sure everything is coming in properly. And if teeth are erupting in positions that would cause issues in the future, early treatments can be done.
Here are a few options that orthodontists can do during the early years:
Palatal expander - In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. It helps make the upper jaw wider to help reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Cases not corrected in growing patients could lead to surgery, bite problems, or more costly treatments down the road.
Early interceptive treatment - Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early and prevent larger problems later. An example of interceptive treatment is correcting an anterior crossbite.
Tooth removal - Sometimes removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth grow in better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position without orthodontic appliances. Dr. Johnson will suggest the best time for extractions, if they are necessary, to take advantage of your child's growth and development.
Remember, early visits are highly recommended but not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment. One of three things could result from your child's first visit:
- There may be no need for treatment at the time.
- Treatment may be needed in the future, so periodic appointments for observation would be recommended.
- A problem already exists that would benefit early treatment and will be discussed during the consultation.