Pros and Cons Of Early Orthodontic Treatment Every Parent Should Know
A child should see their dentist once all their baby teeth have erupted, or no later than 7 years old. With lots of sweets and chocolates involved in their growth, there should be someone watching their dental health.
Early orthodontic treatment, however, might sing a different tune. Teeth growth will always be different in every person. If you’re clueless about starting orthodontic treatment for your child at an early age, then this article will help you understand better.
What is Early Orthodontic treatment?
Early Orthodontic Treatment, also known as ‘Interceptive Orthodontic treatment’ is an orthodontic procedure a child undergoes while still growing their primary teeth.
During the treatment, your child may or may not use braces, but has potential to use other orthodontic appliances such as palatal expanders. These will help grow their primary teeth better, improve their bite, and guide their growing permanent teeth in place.
Early orthodontic treatment comprises two stages.
This occurs during the mixed dentition phase, usually between 6 to 9 years old. Here’s where children start to lose their primary teeth to give way for the growth of their permanent teeth.
This stage is the best time to see if there are disturbances in their teeth’s growth and the development of the jaw. For children with cranio-facial differences such as cleft lip palate, earlier assistance must be imposed.
For jaw enhancements, orthodontic treatment is highly favorable. It helps to guide the eruption of permanent teeth, creating spaces for their proper alignment. This usually operates from 9 to 12 months, depending on each patient’s case.
They might also get introduced to some orthodontic therapies such as:
- Functional appliances
- Braces on selected teeth
- Space maintainers
- Expansion appliances
This stage will also help your child correct their oral habits such as thumb-sucking. Dentists will also find ways to encourage your child to brush their teeth more, and correct their bad biting and chewing habits.
Before Phase 2 begins, it is advisable to give your child’s teeth breathing time to grow naturally. Since Phase 1 has helped them develop better, permanent teeth growth will be enhanced.
Phase 2 is the stage where braces can be used to correct the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth. This is where you can find the benefits of Phase 1 because the enhancements done can determine the length of the use of dental braces.
While it is still necessary to wear braces at this stage, even with the aid of Phase 1, possible surgeries may be lessened, if not, totally avoided. With Phase 1 guiding new tooth to grow in certain parts of your child’s mouth, you’ll be reaping the benefits of it in the long run.
Braces help in the alignment of the permanent teeth. This will be the set of teeth your child will have for the rest of his or her life– you might as well make them better with braces.
Should my child get it this early?
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. With a dental professional correcting your child’s dental problems as soon as possible, it can save you time, hassle and a lot of money in the long run.
Of course, all treatment should be well prepared for. To give you a better assessment if early orthodontic treatment is really necessary for your child, take a look at its pros and cons and be the judge.
Early orthodontic treatment sure has a lot of benefits you can reap in the long run. If you’re torn if it’s worth it, take a look below and see for yourself.
- Detects and improves early teeth problems such as cross-bites, crowding and spacing.
- Helps avoid early primary tooth loss due to decay or cavity.
- Detects early signs of major teeth and jaw problems, and work to enhance it.
- Guides permanent teeth during growth.
- Corrects bad oral habits and dental hygiene.
- Avoidance of tooth extractions due to improper growth
- Makes better spaces for permanent teeth eruption.
- Helps in a child’s speech problems.
- Boosts a child’s self esteem
- Helps shift protruding teeth in the right places
- Saves your child major (and more costly) dental treatments when they reach their teenage years or adulthood.
Since treatments are not always exciting for kids, they might feel burnt out from it at an early age. Commitment is very important when it comes to orthodontic treatments and your kid must be able to understand that at an early age.
There will be a lot of ‘do’s and Don’ts for your child, which is a great challenge for them already. Certain food like sweets and chocolates might be advised to be lessened, and this will not be a favorable experience. As parents, balancing their treatments with their childhood should be observed.
Painful treatments will not be a good experience and might cause a little trauma for your child. That’s why it’s best to look for the most reputable pediatric dentist and orthodontist experts who won’t take the child out of your child’s early treatment.
This treatment will surely cost you money. Dentist appointments, treatments, therapists and appliances will require budget commitments as well. You should be well prepared for it.
Signs your child needs this treatment
Early orthodontic treatment is advised after an orthodontic evaluation. That’s why at an early age, dental appointments must be done regularly to know if your child’s dental health is at risk.
Here are some common signs to tell if your child needs it.
- If your child experiences early, late or irregular loss of their primary teeth.
- They are having a hard time chewing their food, or biting on food.
- Their teeth are overcrowded, making them lose confidence.
- They have speech defects, especially when pronouncing consonants.
- They keep biting the cheeks of their mouth while eating or speaking.
- They’ve got huge spaces in between their teeth.
- Their jaw shifts or makes sounds when moved.
- They have abnormal bites which can be classified into four: overbite, crossbite, underbite or open bite, as declared by the dentist.
Getting an early orthodontic treatment helps a lot in your child’s dental health, but it should be dealt with proper decision-making. Commitments, budget and discipline are required for this treatment to be successful and your child should understand well the benefits he or she can get from it.
There might be pain and discomfort along the way, like any other treatment. That’s why it will help to get the best orthodontist to make this experience bearable and favorable for your child.
Understanding Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment
While we’re not all born with perfectly-aligned, Hollywood-glam smiles, achieving this can still be possible, thanks to modern comprehensive orthodontic treatments.
With a carefully planned orthodontic treatment, your road to looking and feeling your best with those pearly whites can be done in the shortest time possible.
Feeling uncomfortable seeing yourself with dental braces on? If you think it’s embarrassing to be seen during these treatments, you may probably want to rethink that. A lot of ways are now possible to make patients of all ages be more confident in wearing them.
Let’s dig more on that, shall we?
Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment In A Nutshell
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is the most common way to correct teeth and jaw alignments. This is done through the use of orthodontic appliances, commonly known as ‘dental braces’ which are usually made up of metal or ceramic.
These orthodontic appliances work by gently tugging at, pushing, or pulling your teeth slowly into their proper places to correct their alignment.
A seasoned specialist is qualified to perform this treatment. Coordination of treatments, consultations, diagnosis and some orthodontic procedures can be done by a general dentist. For a more comprehensive treatment, the expertise of an orthodontist is sometimes necessary.
Why should I get this treatment?
Aside from aesthetics, having perfectly aligned teeth gives you other benefits you may not be aware of. Here’s why you should start taking orthodontic treatments more seriously.
Avoid tooth decay
Misaligned teeth can cause tooth decay or other tooth problems in the future. With some teeth in an incorrect position, cleaning them can be a problem. At the same time, food can get stuck in unusual places, making it a struggle to be removed.
Hard-to-reach places in your teeth due to misalignment can make plaque easier to develop. In time, the teeth around it can be vulnerable to more bacteria, making them more prone to tooth decay.
Gingivitis is commonly the effect of bad oral hygiene, or sometimes, incorrect teeth alignments. It’s identified by seeing swollen, bleeding, and puffy-looking gums.
It’s caused when plaque forms and worsens into tartar because it cannot be cleaned through regular brushing. This can be due to your teeth being too misaligned, making these places hard to reach and clean.
Relief from headaches or earaches
If you have recurring headaches or earaches, you may want to visit your dentist immediately. This might be the cause of your jaw not biting down correctly. All the more reasons why you should undergo a comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
If your jaw or teeth are misaligned, it can cause muscle train, affecting your head and ears. It can also cause you to develop bruxism, or grinding your teeth as you sleep.
Enhance your speech
Ever have that speech defect you think you’re born with? The way you pronounce things poorly may also be because of poorly aligned jaws or teeth.
The lips, tongue, oropharynx, and teeth work together in speech functions. Consonants may be hard to pronounce properly due to tooth misalignments. This can lead to speech disorders that you may find a little embarrassing.
Teeth crowding gone
Undergoing comprehensive orthodontic treatment may also cause you to lose some of the teeth that crowd in your mouth. These teeth are usually the cause of misalignment, pushing normally-growing teeth in all directions.
Before undergoing this treatment, a dental x-ray is done to see your teeth’s condition.
A picture-perfect smile
Who doesn’t want a flawless smile? Having perfectly aligned teeth improves your overall appearance, enhances the symmetry of your face and boosts your overall self esteem!
Treatment Procedure and Duration
The process of comprehensive orthodontic treatment may be different in every case. Generally, it can either be done in one whole phase, but the adjustments differ from each person’s case.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatments usually last around 2 to 3 years, depending on the patient’s case. Relatively, your choice of orthodontic appliances can also affect the length of your treatment.
Today, more orthodontic appliances were developed to improve patient’s choices. Some patients who need this treatment may find traditional metal braces cumbersome or not that pleasing to look at.
Now, you have better options to make this treatment more bearable and aesthetically pleasing.
This is the most common type of braces, made from polished and smoothened stainless steel. Metal braces still tops the game of the fastest process of aligning teeth. It’s also cheaper and more comfortable.
Modern dental improvements made traditional metal braces smaller and more hygienic-looking.
Due to patients getting uncomfortable about the shiny metal braces, ceramic braces were born. These braces look like they are barely there, as ceramic tends to blend naturally with the color of your teeth.
Compared to metal braces, ceramics may take longer than usual to adjust your teeth into their proper alignment. This may also cost more because of the materials used.
Invisalign or “Invisible Braces”
The newest breakthrough in comprehensive orthodontic treatment is the clear aligners, most commonly known as Invisalign. It’s also referred to as “Invisible Braces” as it’s made from clear, BPA-free plastic trays.
These aligners are customized based on every patient’s needs, and are also made removable for more convenience. However, these may cost more as the need to be replaced comes every few weeks.
Treatment duration may also be longer, since these aligners are removable and can’t do its work properly from time to time. This will also need more compliance to the patient’s part, as it requires timely appointments once in a while.
When is the best time to undergo this treatment?
Some would agree that the best time for orthodontic treatments is when all of the baby teeth have been replaced. This is usually between the ages of 10 to 15 years old. But dentists also recommend early and late stages of this treatment.
Phase I or Early Treatment
This usually begins at the early age of 7 or 8, before the permanent teeth grow into place. This is recommended to treat alignment as soon as possible, and detect problems that can happen in the future.
Phase II Teen Treatment
The adolescent stage, usually the ages 11-15 is a transition stage for most people in this age group. This is the most ideal time for treatment for all of the permanent teeth have already erupted and are now ready for correction.
Children may not also get too embarrassed about how braces can make them look, because almost all of their friends are into the same treatment too.
Though this can be a little more uncomfortable for people in this age group, it’s still advisable to get comprehensive orthodontic treatment if needed.
At this stage, all teeth have fully grown including the appearance of the wisdom tooth, making the treatment more effective and quick.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatments improve not only how you look, but also your overall lifestyle. If you are suffering because of misaligned teeth and jaw, correcting it is not too late– no matter what your age is.