Orthodontic treatment in children is usually recommended between the ages of 7 and 9. Early intervention can be beneficial to the child’s teeth, bite, and jaw development. It can also help your child avoid the need for more complicated orthodontic work later in life.
Orthodontic problems can be more difficult to treat as an adult, and sometimes they are not treatable at all. However, if detected early, your child’s smile can benefit from orthodontic treatment that is less invasive and more affordable. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as seven years old because issues can be identified at this early age. These issues include crossbites, crowding, underbites, and some jaw growth problems. By age nine or ten, most, if not all, permanent teeth have erupted, making it a great time for an initial orthodontic screening with your dentist or orthodontist.
An evaluation will consist of a visual exam, x-rays, and possibly photographs. These diagnostic tools can help your orthodontist in Hamilton, MT, determine whether treatment is needed now or whether you should wait until your child is older to address more serious concerns. If treatment is prescribed, it will most likely be Phase One treatment, which addresses many common bite issues while the child still has some baby teeth remaining in place. After the remaining baby teeth are lost, and the final adult teeth have erupted, another phase of orthodontic treatment will be recommended. Optimally, this will occur between the ages of eleven and thirteen, but if the timing is not ideal, it is still possible to provide successful treatment with braces or other appliances after the age of fourteen.
Here are some of the benefits of early intervention in orthodontics for children:
1. Fewer Appointments and Shorter Treatments
When a child receives his or her first orthodontic checkup at the age of six or seven, the orthodontist in Hamilton, MT, will be able to tell if the child is in need of any early intervention. If treatment is prescribed, this can help reduce the need for extensive treatment later on in life, such as full braces. Children who receive early treatment for issues such as overbite or underbite may also not need surgery for correction of the jaw alignment later in life.
Orthodontic care is not just an aesthetic procedure; it can also help your child maintain good dental health as well. When teeth are properly aligned, they are easier to clean and floss around, which prevents the formation of decay-causing plaque and bacteria. This can help you and your child avoid future issues with the gums and bones in the mouth.
2. Reduced Cost
Though most dental insurance plans do cover a portion of the cost of adult orthodontics treatments, they will not cover any of the cost of treatment that is given to children. This means that parents who delay getting their child into orthodontics may end up paying higher out-of-pocket costs for treatments. Of course, this also means that those who invest in their children’s orthodontic appointments early in life can save on the overall cost of treatment throughout their lives.
3. Avoid Complications in the Future
By visiting your dentist early in life, you can address some of the most common problems before they get worse and more difficult to treat. Braces, retainers, and other orthodontic treatments can correct alignment issues, gaps between teeth, crowding of teeth that can affect bite function, and more. Many of these conditions can cause issues with oral hygiene, such as difficulty cleaning certain areas of the gum line and remaining plaque buildup on teeth. Some can even be associated with sleep apnea or breathing problems. Over time, these issues can worsen and become painful to live with. If left untreated, they can lead to more serious problems that require more extensive treatments in the future. Visiting the orthodontist in Hamilton, MT, early can help you avoid potential complications by correcting these problems early on.
Contact our orthodontist in Hamilton, MT, and orthodontist in Stevensville, MT, at 1116 W Main St, Hamilton, MT 59840, or 3920 US Hwy 93, Stevensville, MT 59870. You can call (406) 363-2200 to learn more.