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Every child fears a visit to the dentist. However, that does not mean that you delay their first orthodontic visit until they are well into their teens. It is recommended that you make your kid’s first orthodontic appointment around the age of 7.
But why at 7 years old?
Well, by this age, your kid will have enough permanent teeth for the orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and jaw. This evaluation will further help the doctor determine how the permanent teeth might grow. They can even detect subtle problems in young children. Needless to say, there are many orthodontic benefits of taking your kid to the orthodontist at a young age.
Various Teeth Problems Your Child Might Have
- Spaces between teeth
- Extra teeth or missing teeth
- Difficulty in eating, chewing, and biting
- Protruding teeth
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
- Overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite
8 Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment helps in identifying any kind of problem within the kid’s developing mouth. Once they are spotted, the orthodontist can treat them before they turn into a lifelong problem. Moreover, early treatment can also resolve childhood dental problems.
Here are 8 benefits of early orthodontic treatment:
- Makes Space in the Mouth for Crowded Teeth to Erupt
Getting your kid an early orthodontic treatment around the age of 6 or 7 will make it easier to address issues like teeth crowding.
Braces help in expanding the jaw and making some room in the mouth before permanent teeth erupt. They can also help in fixing the crowded teeth.
- Fixes Tongue Obstruction
Does your kid have an overbite where the upper teeth overlap a lot over the bottom teeth? If that is the case, it can lead to whistling sounds when your kid speaks. This happens when the air escapes between the teeth while talking, effectively obstructing the correct placement of the tongue.
Braces prevent this from happening as it can correct an overbite and fix gaps between the teeth. It will help them pronounce words better and develop better speech.
- Boosts Confidence
Your kid may suffer from low self-esteem due to issues like crooked or misaligned teeth. The extent of insecurities can even cause them to hide their smile or harbor negative feelings about their smile.
Early orthodontic treatment will give the doctor an idea if the kid needs braces or not. Braces will straighten the teeth and allow children to regain their confidence.
- Improves the Symmetry of Face
Crooked teeth or bite can hamper the symmetry of the face. Teeth braces help in moving the teeth to the right position and correct the bite.
Braces bring the teeth back to alignment and create an even midline. This helps in improving the symmetry of the face.
- Reduces Time for Second Round of Treatment
When your kid gets an early orthodontic treatment, it will reduce the time of phase II treatment. In phase I, the trauma of protruding teeth will be reduced. Eventually, it will lead to permanent teeth being perfectly aligned. This helps in reducing the need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
- Lowers Risk of Tooth Decay
Your child may not be able to brush his teeth properly if the teeth are misaligned. Cleaning hard to reach areas with a toothbrush or even flossing can be a challenge. This will cause tooth decay and plaque build-up.
Crooked teeth can thus present serious health risks to your child. When you take your child to an orthodontist, he can determine the best course of action for crooked teeth.
- Reduces Teeth Grinding
If your kid frequently complains about neck pain or headaches, it could be a result of teeth grinding. In most cases, they won’t even be aware of it as they could grind the teeth in their sleep.
Teeth grinding is mostly caused by an unaligned jaw and if it is not corrected early, it could cause future problems. Braces will help in correcting the bite and eventually eliminate teeth grinding.
If your kid has difficulty speaking or is unable to pronounce certain words properly, don’t brush it off as a normal childhood thing. It may be a result of the child’s teeth and jaw not being properly aligned. Lisping, mispronouncing words, or slurring can be a result of that.
However, early orthodontic treatment can help in correcting the alignment and improving your child’s speech at a young age. It also ensures that they don’t face this problem later in their life.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment at a young age outweigh the negatives by a mile. So, if you haven’t taken your young kid to an orthodontist yet, now might be the right time to make that appointment.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile to Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!