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Early Orthodontic Treatment in Children

Isn’t eight a little early for braces?  For some children, probably not.  The first adult tooth usually erupts around age five or six, and by this point problems may already be easily detected.  Generally spacing between baby teeth is normal.  When children do not have space, or have crowding in their baby teeth it is more likely they will experience crowding in their adult teeth. Early orthodontic treatment can take advantage of growth and development and lead to fewer problems down the road.

Problems Detected in Baby Teeth

In baby teeth orthodontic issues can arise early due to habits such as sucking on a pacifier, thumb, or other object.  If habits last long enough they can lead to a crossbite, open bite, overjet, and problems with facial growth.  Generally it is best if a child stops the habit by age three, before most of the growth of the roof of the mouth occurs.

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If your child sucks on a pacifier, finger, or thumb, our office is happy to discuss techniques that may help them stop.  Detection and early orthodontic treatment can help prevent problems that may lead to more expensive treatment later.

Will my child need braces?

Crowding usually appears to parents as permanent teeth begin to erupt.  The first teeth to erupt are usually the first molars, or the lower incisors.  Many parents become concerned when their child has two rows of teeth, and some may refer to to this as “shark teeth.”  This problem can arise due to a spacing issue, and the location that permanent teeth develop in relation to the baby teeth.

Other problems that an be concerning are the relationship of the upper teeth to the lower teeth, cross-bites, an underbite, and an over-jet (often confused with an overbite) are all problems the parents may detect early.  In some cases early orthodontic treatment can take advantage to impact the growth of the jaws while a child is still developing.  This is often advantageous compared to waiting until growth is complete because it can limit the need for more extensive treatment.

Dr. Jarod will provide an orthodontic screening to determine if your child is a candidate for early orthodontic treatment, or habit correction.  At Arctic Dental we believe in early detection and treatment to help avoid more involved problems.

Early Orthodontic Screenings

Orthodontic screenings can help children who need early orthodontic treatment care.  While some problems may be easy to detect by parents, dentists can detect problems that parents may not be able to see.  Some problems such as missing teeth, and extra teeth may only be detected on a x-ray.  These problems can lead to problems with how teeth erupt, and create spacing issues.  Adult teeth may also may not come in the right spot, and cause damage to permanent teeth, or become stuck in the jaw.

Early treatment for some children may help build self confidence at school and around other children.  It can also make teeth less likely to be damaged by trauma.  At Arctic Dental we believe every child should be screened for orthodontic issues by age seven.  That way if a child needs early treatment we can utilize growth to try to prevent bigger issues, and limit the need for more complicated treatment.