Early Orthodontic Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children have their first orthodontic appointment and screening by age 7. While this may seem young, there are some advantages to what is known as interceptive orthodontics. Early orthodontic treatment and diagnosis can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. Identifying orthodontic issues early can also help children as they are perfecting skills such as speaking, chewing food, and maintaining patterns of good oral hygiene.

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Benefits of Your Child’s First Orthodontic Appointment

  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions
  • Reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Correct thumb-sucking
  • Eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems
  • Early treatment can simplify later treatment after permanent teeth erupt.

The Orthodontic Supervisory Program

If after an early examination, the doctor decides that treatment needs to be delayed until all permanent teeth have erupted, the patient is placed on our orthodontic supervisory program.

This program lets us monitor the eruptive pattern of permanent teeth. We will notify your general dentist of any recommendations made during your visit. We normally see the patients on recall every 6-8 months to observe their progress as they grow. There is no fee for this program and it helps the orthodontist determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.

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Besides a beautiful smile, what are the other benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Aesthetics are only one part of orthodontic treatment. Braces can improve the function of the bite and teeth, improve the ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime. Ultimately, your treatment will ensure you can keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

If a child has treatment early, will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?

Early orthodontic treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future oral treatment. Because all the permanent teeth have not yet erupted when early treatment is performed, their final alignment may not have been corrected. A shortened course of braces after all the teeth have erupted may be necessary.

early orthodontic treatment - Northeast Orthodontic Specialists

Should we continue to see our family dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Braces require more effort on the patient’s part to keep teeth and gums clean. To maintain the highest level of oral health, we recommend you see your family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every 6 months during treatment.