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November 19, 2018

Early Intervention Orthodontics

Have you been wondering if your child is in need of orthodontic treatment? The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children receive orthodontic screenings by age 7. The reason is that permanent teeth generally begin to appear around the ages of 6 or 7. During that time, the bones are still growing, making it an ideal time to evaluate a child. Some problems become apparent at this young age, allowing us to determine orthodontic treatments that are needed in the present or the future.


Early Intervention and Its Advantages

The sooner your child begins orthodontic treatment, the higher the chances of achieving the best outcomes in the proper growth of your child’s jaws and face, while preventing many potential future oral health problems. Introducing braces early on helps shift your child’s bones while they are still malleable, and helps expand the jaw to make room for the permanent teeth.

Orthodontic treatment in young children, also known as interceptive orthodontics, may begin as early as 6 or 7. During this young age, teeth and jaw bones are still developing and growing, meaning that certain conditions including crowding are much easier to address. For example, a device called a palatal expander has more success when used at a young age to expand the child’s upper arch, which will allow adult teeth to emerge into their correct positions.

Early intervention orthodontics has numerous benefits including improving facial symmetry, reducing the risk of chipping protruded teeth, and resolving speech obstruction. Most children who receive interceptive orthodontics will need braces or other orthodontic appliances later on, but future treatment is usually shorter and less costly and complicated.


What Conditions Require Early Intervention?

Conditions that will require early intervention for the best outcomes are overbites, underbites, crossbites, along with crowded, crooked, misplaced, gapped, or protruding teeth. Children who breathe through the mouth more than the nose, those who experience difficulty in eating, chewing and biting, and young patients with jaws and teeth not proportional to the rest of the face will likely require early orthodontic treatment.


Care During Orthodontic Treatment

Your child will need to practice good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Encourage your child to rinse with water three to four times a day to loosen food caught in braces or other dental appliances, then brush thoroughly. Before sleep, ensure your child flosses and rinses with a fluoride rinse to help keep teeth clean and healthy.

Every six months, make sure to bring your child in for a professional cleaning and a checkup. We will clean around the braces and will assess your child’s oral health to catch any problems and treat them before they progress. Our dental hygienist can help demonstrate or suggest ways to ensure your child’s teeth stay clean and healthy while the braces are on.


Early Intervention Orthodontics in the Phoenix, AZ Area

Contact Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an orthodontic screening for your child and to learn more about early intervention orthodontics. We are committed to helping our young patients enjoy healthy, happy smiles for a lifetime. We look forward to caring for all your child’s dental needs!