Are you considering early orthodontic treatment for your child? If so, you are not alone. Some orthodontic practices have as many as 20% of their patients in the 7 to 10 age range! The fact is, many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. Many orthodontists and other dental professionals recommend children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment, provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.
If any of the following points apply to your child, you may want to think about early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 12 to 13)
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking his or her thumb
- Speech impediment
- Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
- Crowded front teeth
- Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
Early intervention can reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Horner and his staff can evaluate your child and determine if his or her dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly or if interceptive treatment is needed. In many instances, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated removable appliances instead of traditional orthodontic treatment.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Horner, please contact our office! You will receive a complimentary exam, and we’ll consult with you regarding any next steps deemed necessary toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.