It used to be assumed that, in order for a child to be ready for orthodontics, all of their adult teeth had to have come in. I’m here to tell you that is simply not the case. In fact, the American Academy of Orthodontics suggests that children should be assessed for orthodontic treatments when their first molars come in around the age of seven. I know that when you think of braces, you hardly visualize a seven-year-old, but there are many reasons why early orthodontic treatment (known as interceptive orthodontics) is the best plan of action for your child. Find out more:
Interceptive Orthodontics In a Nutshell
Interceptive Orthodontics doesn’t guarantee that your child won’t need braces later in life, but they do minimize bite problems that could require elaborate and lengthy orthodontic treatments in the future. Just some of the reasons I recommend interceptive orthodontics include:
- Misaligned teeth, narrow dental arches, or protruding front teeth caused by years of thumb sucking and pacifier use.
- A constricted palate that may result in a crossbite.
- Uneven jaw development.
- Tongue thrusting habits.
- Speech impediments caused by open bites
The Advantages of Interceptive Orthodontics
One reason I recommend interceptive orthodontics is because it works with your child’s facial structures while they are still developing. And though teenagers may not listen as well as we’d like, younger children are more likely to do as their told and comply with prescribed treatments. Additionally, interceptive ortho can:
- Improve appearance, facial symmetry, and the natural position of the lips
- Create room for crowded teeth or teeth that have yet to erupt
- Correct habits such as thumb sucking
- Reducing the duration of future treatment and the future need for extractions
Even if your child’s teeth look perfect to you, it’s a good idea to bring them in for an evaluation. My team members and I love working with children and look forward to helping your favorite little one have a healthy and beautiful smile.
Dr. Ruth Roach Morgan