Orthodontic treatment traditionally calls to mind images of teenagers with awkward metallic grins. Modern orthodontics, however, has revealed that this image is not always based in fact anymore. Technologies have improved and patient demographics have expanded. Now, more than ever, we are seeing people of all ages coming through our office. In past articles we have explored adult orthodontics, and today we hope to shed some light on the little ones. How can orthodontic treatment benefit children?
When should my child have their first appointment?
According to the Canadian Dental Association, children should have their first orthodontic appointment by the time they turn seven years old. At this point, a child will have lost the majority of their baby teeth and their permanent molars will have begun to come in to replace them. So although the jaw is still developing and teeth are still finding their positions at this age, it is possible to evaluate the relationship between the teeth and the jaws. From this, we can determine whether any issues of malocclusion will arise.
What treatment could my child receive?
An early consultation does not mean that orthodontic treatment will happen immediately, or even at all. At its most basic, the appointment will help your orthodontist develop a dental “road map” for your child. Solutions that can be employed at this point would be to treat issues such as:
- Incorrect biting and chewing
- Harmful oral habits
- Risk of damage or breakage to protruded front teeth
How could early treatment benefit my child?
- It gives us the chance to correct behaviours that may negatively affect their development, such as thumb sucking.
- Getting a start on assessing bite issues such as an open bite, cross bite or deep bite.
- The ability to guide the growth of the jaw to accommodate emerging teeth.
- Possibly eliminating or alleviating future treatments that may be more involved and complicated, saving your child and your wallet unnecessary discomfort down the road.
- No visible issues? Great! A consultation at the very least will give you peace of mind. Now you can focus more on what school sport to enrol them in, and less on worrying if they will need orthodontic treatment!
An early consultation will allow us to recognize developing issues before they become a concern. At Cory Liss, our team is ready and waiting to help you and your child achieve the most comfortable, healthy smile possible. If you have any questions about whether or not your child may need orthodontic treatment, give us a call today to set up a consultation!