It is recommended that children start seeing an orthodontist by the age of seven or when their permanent teeth begin coming in. Starting orthodontic care early has a lot of benefits, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Identifying Problems Early
The earlier a child begins seeing their orthodontist, the earlier signs of potential problems can be detected. This can help save your child from needing more invasive procedures later in life because problems can be corrected as quickly as possible before they have time to turn into severe issues.
Lowering the Risk of Tooth Decay
Many orthodontic problems can make it easier for bacteria to cause tooth decay, and by treating these issues early, you can help make it harder for cavities to develop. For example, misaligned teeth that are corrected with braces will have fewer hard-to-reach areas, so brushing and flossing can be more effective. If left uncorrected, crooked teeth can present a serious challenge and steeply increase the risk of your child developing tooth decay. Although some orthodontists may hold off on braces until a majority or all of the adult teeth have come through, getting started early can be critical for creating the most effective dental plan.
Positioning Adult Teeth
Early orthodontic treatment, such as braces, can also help guide permanent teeth into a straighter, healthier position without needing years of treatment. This is because young children are still developing, making treatment easier than it would be on someone whose mouth has already finished developing. When your child is able to take advantage of aligned teeth and jaws, they will be more likely to benefit from good oral hygiene and fewer bad habits, such as teeth grinding.
Reducing Teeth Grinding
Lastly, going hand-in-hand with the information above, early orthodontic treatments can help mitigate tooth-grinding, which can cause neck pain, headaches, and tooth damage. This is typically caused by a misaligned jaw, and it could go on to create a lot of more significant problems if not corrected early enough with braces.
If your child is starting to develop adult teeth and they haven’t been to see an orthodontist yet, you might want to consider setting up an appointment. Not only can this help identify problems early, but it can make correcting these problems easier so that your child can benefit from a healthier mouth for the rest of their lives.