Braces… some people can’t wait to get them and some can’t wait to take them off, but despite any negative feelings regarding the aesthetics of some types of braces, their effectiveness is undeniable. The functionality and beauty of teeth depend on a number of factors. While some people have teeth that are suitably aligned and won’t need intervention, many will need correction at some point in their life.
The main function of braces is to correct malocclusions and jaw alignment problems. To identify any of these, an orthodontic screening should be done around seven years of age. It’s at this age when conditions can be clearly seen and fixed on time.
Treatments can be given in one or two phases. The first one should occur between the ages of 7 and 10, and a second phase may be required sometime during their teen years. The timeline of both phases can vary from 9 months to more than 2 years, as it all depends on the patient’s specific case.
Reasons Early Orthodontic Intervention Can Benefit Young Children
Early orthodontic intervention can bring multiple lifelong benefits to children’s dental health, including:
- More space: Braces at an early age, when the dental structure is still developing, will prevent primary teeth from having a negative impact on permanent teeth. Also, at this age, the jawbone is more flexible and space can be made for permanent teeth to set correctly to prevent teeth crowding.
- Functionality and appearance improvement: Misaligned teeth alter the facial symmetry and overall appearance and functionality of teeth. Braces correct these issues in time, preventing risks of chipping of protruding teeth and improving the processes of biting and chewing. Crooked teeth and jaw problems can also negatively affect speech, so fixing them as soon as possible allows the natural development of this very important ability.
- Promotes oral cleaning habits: Braces require a disciplined cleaning routine. Teaching kids the importance of taking care of their braces and teeth help them develop an oral cleaning habit that will be brought into adulthood.
- Reduces length of future treatments: Using braces at an early age significantly reduces the complications that can occur and the length of time a second phase may require additional treatment is needed. Early orthodontics deals with protruding and erupting crowded teeth, making it less likely to need tooth removal and longer treatments in the future.
Interceptive orthodontics, early appliance therapy for ages 6-10 or 11, can also help develop better airways that can improve your child’s sleeping. Sleep disturbed breathing in a child can lead to many learning issues as well as increasing the risk of sleep apnea as an adult. Ask Dr. Morgan about the benefits of increasing your child’s airway with interceptive orthodontics. Insurances that cover braces will also help with this treatment for your child. Further, if you have other questions about orthodontic treatment for a child in your life, please call our Canton, MS office to schedule a consultation today.