Smile David Ross Orthodontics in Hanover, PA and Lutherville-Timonium, MD

Early Treatment

At what age should a child first visit the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists advises that children undergo an orthodontic screening by age seven. This early assessment enables Dr. Ross to evaluate whether orthodontic treatment will be necessary and determine the optimal timing for treatment. Additionally, many dentists in our community are trained to recognize orthodontic issues early on and may refer patients to our office before reaching age seven.

Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?

Early diagnosis and treatment play crucial roles in guiding erupting teeth into favorable positions, preserving space for permanent teeth, and decreasing the risk of fracturing protruding front teeth.

If early treatment is recommended, Dr. Ross can effectively influence jaw growth and the development of incoming permanent teeth. This early intervention can also help regulate the width of both upper and lower dental arches, create space for permanent teeth, mitigate the need for permanent tooth extractions, lower the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, address thumb-sucking habits, and potentially alleviate abnormal swallowing or speech issues. Essentially, early treatment streamlines future orthodontic care, simplifying procedures once all permanent teeth have erupted.

Does early treatment benefit all children?

Indeed, early treatment isn’t always advantageous for every child. Some orthodontic issues can be more effectively addressed during the teenage years when all permanent teeth have emerged. Additionally, certain skeletal orthodontic concerns may require more advanced growth stages before treatment initiation.

Dr. Ross tailors a treatment plan to meet each child’s unique needs. If it’s determined that a patient isn’t yet suitable for treatment, they are placed under orthodontic supervision until the appropriate time for intervention. This approach ensures that treatment is delivered at the most opportune moment for optimal results.

What is Orthodontic Supervision?

Orthodontic supervision is designed for patients who aren’t yet prepared for treatment and require ongoing evaluation as we monitor the eruption of permanent teeth. In some cases, correcting unfavorable patterns of permanent teeth may involve early removal of baby teeth, potentially shortening the duration of future braces treatment.

We keep your general dentist informed of any recommendations following your visit. Patients under supervision are scheduled for check-ups every 6-12 months to assess their progress as they grow. This approach enables Dr. Ross to determine the ideal timing for treatment initiation, ultimately aiming for the best possible outcome for your child.

In addition to a beautiful new smile, what are some other benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Braces can improve the function of the bite and teeth, improve the ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime.

If a child has treatment early, will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?

Early treatment can initiate the correction of significant orthodontic issues, preempt the development of more severe problems, and streamline future treatment. However, since not all permanent teeth have erupted during early intervention, their final alignment may not be fully corrected at that stage.

Usually, a condensed comprehensive treatment phase (Phase II – full braces) during the teenage years, after all permanent teeth have emerged, finalizes the correction. Nevertheless, there may be instances where additional orthodontic treatment isn’t necessary.

Do we still need to see our family dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or other appliances must exert extra effort to maintain optimal oral hygiene. To ensure the highest level of dental health, we advise scheduling regular check-ups and cleanings with your family dentist every six months throughout your treatment period. This proactive approach helps prevent potential issues and promotes overall oral well-being.