The Importance of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Braces used to be a rite of passage in high school, but fewer teens are seen sporting brackets and wires today. The difference isn’t that kids don’t need braces anymore. The real reason that fewer high school students are wearing braces is that it is becoming increasingly common for kids to get orthodontic treatment at younger ages. Should you consider making appointment at the orthodontist for your child? Here is what you need to know about getting orthodontic treatment for your child.
Girl with Braces Smiling
What is the right time to have your child evaluated by an orthodontist? Unless his pediatric dentist has referred him sooner, your child should have an exam by an orthodontist around age seven, according to the American Association of Orthodontics. If bite problems are obvious before that time, seek care as soon as you become concerned.
It is a common misconception among parents that orthodontic treatment can’t begin until all of the permanent teeth are in place. In fact, the best time to start treatment is much earlier. Before the permanent teeth are in place, orthodontists can offer what is known as interceptive treatment . This kind of care is focused on encouraging permanent teeth to erupt in ideal positions to reduce the need for future treatment. For instance, instead of pulling teeth and then closing the gaps with braces to ease crowding, with interceptive care, orthodontists can use palatal expanders to increase the space in the jaw so that all the teeth fit. This is only possible while the jaw is still growing before the permanent teeth come in. Interceptive care can prevent the need for braces entirely or shorten the length of time braces need to be worn.
To accommodate younger patients, orthodontic devices have become even more kid-friendly. In addition to increased comfort, special features like colored elastics with braces lets kids customize their treatment and feel more excited about receiving care.
At Seligman Orthodontics , Dr. David Seligman welcomes patients of all ages. It’s never too early or too late to start working on a great smile. Learn more by calling our Park Avenue orthodontic practice at (646) 681-8516.