Your child’s teeth may show signs of teeth alignment, spacing, and crowding issues at a young age. If left untreated this could worsen over time and may even cause more severe complications that would be expensive to treat. As such, orthodontics agree that a child should have their appointment as early as 6 or 7 years old, but it’s also important to know that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems.
The orthodontic treatment for young children is called “interceptive orthodontics” and primarily focus on detecting and addressing orthodontic issues early on. Subsequently, early orthodontic treatment and the use of orthodontic appliances can help remedy or prevent these issues. Here are certain advantages of early orthodontic intervention that could help convince you to schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment:
Detect and Fix Issues Early On
The most significant advantage of initial orthodontic appointments and treatment is the early detection and intervention of orthodontic issues. Bite issues, crowding, gaps, and misalignment can cause self-esteem issues as well as lead to other health complications if left untreated. Early treatment can prevent these issues from worsening, which could lessen or eliminate the need for treatments in the future. This would save your child from discomfort and embarrassment, and could even keep you from paying for more frequent and expensive treatments as your children age.
Additionally, teeth and jaw development issues can affect a child’s airway. This can manifest by snoring, sleep apnea, or mouth breathing. And early orthodontic intervention can help with improving the child’s breathing and overall quality of life.
Improve a Child’s Confidence
Issues with crowding, bite problems, gaps, and misalignment can negatively affect a child’s confidence and could even affect their early social life. Not only that, those with more severe issues such as protruding bites could hinder them from interacting with others or participate in class in fear of mockery. This is why interceptive orthodontics is essential. Not only does it helps with your child’s oral health, but also their self-perception and allow them to socialize with other kids and participate in school confidently.
Stop Thumb and Finger Sucking Habits
During your child’s first appointment with an orthodontist, it would be a great relief to find out that there are no orthodontic issues at the moment or in the foreseeable future. However, if your child still has thumb or finger sucking habits even when they’re supposed to outgrow them around the age of 6 or 7, your orthodontist can provide suggestions or even talk to your child and explain to them why they should stop as they could have permanent effects on their teeth and jaw development. A few conversations between your child and the orthodontist might provide the motivation that can encourage them to stop the habit.
Although the adage “better late than never” holds truth, starting earlier than later would be a lot more beneficial when it comes to orthodontic intervention. So, when your child reaches the age of 6 or 7, make sure to schedule your first orthodontic appointment to check for any issues, and start the treatment early. Not only would it prevent problems and save you from a lot of expensive procedures and orthodontic appliances in the future, but would ensure that your child grows up as a teen and adult with a healthy smile.