Spokane Dentist Discusses the Importance of Early Orthodontic Treatment
A common concern of many parents of young children at our Spokane or Cheney Dental Office is the best timing to get their child in to be seen for an orthodontic assessment. They are often surprised to learn that the time to deal with potential orthodontic issues is sooner rather than later. These parents are under the mistaken impression that their child must be an adolescent presenting severe alignment issues in order to be considered for orthodontic treatment. Today I’d like to clear up some of the misconceptions about early orthodontic treatment.
“It’s best to wait until my child has all their permanent teeth”
Any dentist trained in early orthodontics will tell you the opposite is true. We know that the optimum time for your child to be seen in order to address the possible need for early orthodontics (also known as preventative or phase one orthodontic treatment) is between 5 and 12 years of age. The younger the child is, the sooner we can start monitoring the growth of their jaw and any potential alignment issues. It also allows us to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child.
“If there are alignment issues my child will still need braces”
Not necessarily – by monitoring the development of the child’s teeth at an early age it is often possible to use orthodontic appliances and other methods to help promote proper tooth alignment, potentially eliminating the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later. A child may still require braces, but the treatment time is normally shortened because of early orthodontic treatment.
“When will I know if my child is a candidate for early orthodontics?”
A professional specializing in early orthodontics, like our Spokane Dentist is the most qualified to determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment. Generally speaking, however, your child may be a candidate if you notice any of the following:
- Crowded or misaligned teeth
- Overbite or underbite
- Thumb-sucking habit
- Cleft palate
If you have questions or concerns about early orthodontic treatment for your child, do not hesitate to contact our office to address these issues during a free consultation.