The ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment is around the age of 7. Parents may wonder why treatment should begin when a child still has baby teeth, but at this age, an orthodontist can determine quite a lot of information, including whether potential issues may develop in the future. But just because your child sees an orthodontist at the age of 7, that doesn’t mean treatment will begin right away, or even at all.
At your child’s first orthodontic consultation, the orthodontist will perform a physical examination of the child’s mouth, as well as take X-rays and digital images. These will combine to give the orthodontist a complete picture of what is happening in the mouth currently, as well as what is lurking below the surface of the gums.
Your orthodontist will be able to identify any issues in the growth pattern of the jaws, as well as issues with how teeth may be falling out or erupting. If issues are present, your child may benefit from early interventive treatment to lessen the severity of future treatment.
If Dr. Pavlo identifies any issues at the first consultation, a treatment plan will be created to address the issue(s) and to begin treatment at the time it will have the most positive impact on the child’s smile. Beginning treatment early allows Dr. Pavlo to guide the growth of the haw, making it much easier to direct the eruption of permanent teeth and making the straightening piece of treatment much easier.
Seeking treatment at a young age also allows the orthodontist to intervene to cease bad habits, preventing serious issues from arising. These issues can include thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, or other harmful oral habits. These can cause issues with how the teeth develop and how the jaw develops, working to mitigate issues before they become too severe.
But perhaps the biggest advantage to visiting an orthodontist at the age of 7 is that your child’s jaw will still be growing. This makes treatment much easier. While treatment can begin at any age, it is recommended to begin while the jaw is still growing. This will lessen the possibility for jaw surgery or extractions. Dr. Pavlo can ensure the jaw is growing at the correct rate and in the correct proportions, while also ensuring that permanent teeth erupt in favorable positions.
Early treatment also means your child can have a healthy, straight smile earlier, increasing their self-esteem. The teenage years can be rough enough without having a smile your child is embarrassed by. Beginning treatment while your child is younger can mean that treatment can be more effective and efficient, and your child can have one less thing to worry about during the sometimes grueling teenage years.