Most parents are familiar with traditional orthodontic treatment that usually starts when a child hits adolescence. Typically, orthodontics are needed to correct gaps, bite issues or crowding issues. However, in some cases, early orthodontic treatment may be needed. Early orthodontic treatment is not limited to one type. Each child has varying needs that serve as the…
Options for Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment is more common than most parents realize. While it does sound rather intimidating, parents can rest assured that it is actually quite beneficial for many children. When early orthodontic treatment is done, children are far less likely to experience severe problems later on in life. For example, bad habits are kicked and bite issues are corrected, both of which allow for better oral health a lot earlier in life. The sooner early orthodontic treatment happens, the quicker oral health problems are solved, making it easier for children to eat, smile and speak.
Generally speaking, there are a few common ways that early orthodontic treatment is administered. However, it is important for parents to remember that each child is different, which means treatment will vary. Outlined below are a few of the most common early orthodontic treatment options available. Parents who are preparing their children for treatment may find it helpful to review the following information.
What are the options for early orthodontic treatment?
Fixed or removable appliances
The most common option for early orthodontic treatment is fixed or removable appliances. A fixed orthodontic appliance usually translates to traditional braces. Traditional braces work best in early orthodontic treatment because they are cemented in place; they are impossible to remove, which is good, as an appliance that is frequently removed will require a longer treatment process. However, putting braces on baby teeth can be a challenge because they will eventually fall out. Nevertheless, orthodontists may recommend braces for a short time to help address bite issues.
A removable orthodontic appliance is much rarer for treating children; however, in some scenarios, it can be quite helpful. Retainers are most traditionally used after orthodontic treatment, but in some cases, retainers might be necessary to help guide adult teeth as they erupt. This can eliminate crowding and crookedness later on, both of which can be detrimental to oral health.
In some rare cases, an orthodontist may recommend extracting baby teeth during early orthodontic treatment. Some children have an excess amount of baby teeth that cause crowding of adult teeth as they begin to erupt. Since baby teeth are not permanent, orthodontists often recommend removing them to make room for adult teeth to properly erupt. Often, tooth extraction is done in conjunction with another early orthodontic treatment to help ensure maximum efficiency in the process.
What else to know
It is good for parents to understand that early orthodontic treatment can be quite beneficial over time. Treatment does require some patience, as the results are not instantaneous. However, once a child's permanent teeth develop, there is a much greater chance that the teeth will be healthy and the oral cavity will function properly.
Get started with early orthodontic treatment
Parents who notice any warning signs of oral cavity issues in their children should consult with an orthodontist. Warning signs include protrusion of teeth, crooked eruption of baby teeth and bad habits, such as thumb sucking. To find out more about early orthodontic treatment, reach out today. Any questions or concerns regarding the treatment process can be appropriately addressed.
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