Early Orthodontic Treatment
Seven is the recommended age to first visit the orthodontist for an assessment of facial growth and abnormalities. At this age, the orthodontist can pick up abnormalities earlier in your child’s development particularly issues caused by soft tissue habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, mouth breathing etc.
If treatment is unnecessary, we will schedule appointments to review your child every six to 12 months to monitor their jaw and facial growth.
Usually, around the age of seven, most children have a mixed dentition of baby and adult teeth and may be experiencing a variety of dental issues including crowding, spacing, protruding teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth, and sometimes jaw growth issues. These problems could be resulting from several different factors – genetic (e.g. Agenesis), environmental (e.g. nasal congestion due to allergies), local (e.g. thumb sucking a lip habits), anatomical problems (e.g. enlarged adenoids and tonsils, narrow arches), trauma and more.
Our orthodontists are trained to identify subtle jaw growth and dental development issues. Most orthodontic
problems are easier to correct if found and treated early. Waiting until all baby teeth have fallen out or until all facial growth is nearly completed may make orthodontic correction more difficult. While your child’s teeth may appear aligned and straight, there could be underlying issues that need to be addressed to prevent more serious problems developing. Early intervention normally means any later orthodontic treatment will be shorter in time and more straightforward.
Signs your child may need an orthodontic consultation:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting
Early orthodontic treatment allows the orthodontist to guide the growth of the jaw, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct bad oral habits, improve appearance and self-esteem, guide the adult teeth into a more favourable position, and improve the way the lips meet.
Find out more of the common problems found in children – click here.