Early Orthodontics: Why Early Intervention Matters

Early Orthodontics InterventionHealthy teeth and gums, along with proper jaw alignment, are all essential for good dental and overall health. But did you know that early orthodontics intervention can help children prevent serious oral health diseases, reduce the risks of permanent tooth loss, improve jawbone growth and safeguard a beautiful smile? Many people are familiar with the benefits of Invisalign and other oral appliances to treat crooked or misaligned teeth. Early invention with orthodontics can address these and other oral health issues before serious complications arise.

Understanding Early Orthodontics

Early orthodontics treatment takes place when baby teeth are still present or when most of the permanent teeth have yet to erupt. Known as interceptive treatment, early orthodontics can begin between the ages of seven to 11 years of age. Why is early orthodontics intervention necessary? As with any health condition, dental issues treated early can help prevent irregularities with jaw development, teeth crowding, misalignment of the teeth and oral health diseases.

Common Signs Your Child May Need an Early Orthodontic Evaluation

Crowding or Misalignment of Teeth

A common sign your child may need early orthodontic treatment is crowding or misalignment of their primary teeth. Aside from affecting your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem, this can cause poor oral hygiene. It might also make it difficult to brush and floss causing serious tooth decay and gum disease.

Overbites, Underbites or Crossbites

An overbite, underbite or crossbite is a distinctive trademark of a serious misalignment within the oral cavity. While most people have a slight overbite when the teeth are clenched, an uneven bite can lead to sleep disturbances, breathing issues, pain, and difficulty chewing and speaking.

Open Bites or Excessive Spacing Between Teeth

An open bite or excessive spacing is usually caused by prolonged periods of thumb sucking as the upper and lower teeth develop a large gap when biting down. This can lead to difficulty in speech and chewing and place undue pressure on the muscles and joints of the jawline.

Jaw Misalignment or Facial Asymmetries

Visual signs of jaw irregularities or facial asymmetries involve the bottom and upper portions of the jawline not aligning as they should. Whether it is an obvious overbite, underbite or perhaps an unbalanced jawline, the positioning needs to be corrected to prevent dental and general health problems.

Thumb Sucking or Other Oral Habits

Thumb sucking is a common occurrence with young children as a sense of security and comfort. This can lead to problems with jaw and teeth alignment over time as the bite position becomes altered. Significant dental issues can develop which might require years of orthodontic treatment.

Early Tooth Loss or Eruption of Permanent Teeth

Premature tooth loss can leave a space where the adjacent teeth begin to shift from their proper positioning. When the permanent teeth erupt early, this can also cause the existing teeth to be pushed aside leading to improper alignment and crooked teeth.

Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing is a common sign of misaligned teeth or a jaw issue especially if enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum has been ruled out. While it is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to chronic ear and upper airway infections, improper facial growth, deformed jawbones and sleep disturbances.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

If you suspect your child may need early orthodontic treatment here are some of the benefits of talking to a pediatric dentist about the issue sooner than later.
  • Early Problem Identification: Addressing even the most minor signs of misalignment can help prevent severe issues that can have an adverse effect on the jawbone. Crowded teeth or improper bite alignment can impede the growth of permanent teeth in children.
  • Preventing Future Complications: Children with misaligned teeth may not be able to brush their teeth or floss correctly. The loss of teeth can cause crooked or misaligned teeth to shift more, leading to more complications.
  • Improved Oral Health: Properly aligned teeth make it easier to clean the surface of the teeth and get into hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth and along the gumline. Without proper cleaning, harmful bacteria and plaque can negatively affect our oral health.
  • Psychological Benefits: Children and adults alike share anxiety in social settings when it comes to the appearance of their teeth. Fixing misaligned and crooked teeth can help boost a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Enhance Overall Well-Being: Our teeth have a profound impact on our overall health, especially with the digestion of food. Correctly aligned teeth and a properly positioned jawbone can easily break down food into smaller pieces for digestion.

Types of Early Orthodontic Appliances

  • Space Maintainers: Spacers are a common type of early orthodontic appliances used in young children. If a tooth is prematurely lost, a space maintainer is placed in the vacant space to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting until the permanent tooth erupts through the gumline.
  • Functional Appliances: Commonly referred to as growth modifiers, functional or myofunctional braces focus on the size inconsistencies between the upper and lower jaws.
  • Limited Braces and Expanders: In children whose jaw is still developing, palatal expanders and limited braces are used to help improve the position of the teeth. The jawbone is gradually guided to remain in place as the alignment of the teeth is corrected.

The Treatment Process

At Princeview Dental Group, our orthodontic consultations will provide you with a thorough assessment of your child’s teeth. We will assess the structure of the teeth and the bite using both visual and imaging techniques to develop a treatment plan. Early orthodontic treatment, regardless of the oral health issue, is customized to your child’s needs. From plates to braces or Invisalign, the treatment plan will outline the number of follow-up visits required and if further treatment is essential. Orthodontic treatments and proper oral hygiene go hand in hand. It is important to schedule regular dental checkups throughout the orthodontic process. Usually, the dental appliances need to be adjusted once every four to six weeks, depending on the type of treatment.

Don't Wait: Visit Princeview Dental for an Orthodontic Consultation

If you’re looking for an orthodontic clinic in Etobicoke, contact Princeview Dental Group. Our team can develop a personalized plan for your oral health. We have a variety of orthodontic treatment options and solutions for issues that can cause difficulties with your chewing, speech and breathing. Call us at (416) 231-4562 for a stunning smile makeover.

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