Although orthodontic treatment can be carried out at practically any age, there is an optimal timing of treatment for each individual. Sometimes, early intervention (orthodontic treatment) can significantly reduce the complexity of future comprehensive treatment, as well as, possibly achieving a much more desirable final result.
Although orthodontic treatment can be carried out at practically any age, there is an optimal timing of treatment for each individual. Sometimes, early orthodontic treatment can significantly reduce the complexity of future comprehensive treatment, as well as, possibly achieving a much more desirable final result.
It is recommended that an initial orthodontic assessment be performed at the first sign of orthodontic problems or around age 7. At this age, the adult molars would have erupted and changing between milk teeth and adult teeth begins. Not everyone is suitable to receive orthodontic treatment at this stage, but a thorough examination can help the orthodontist determine the best time to begin orthodontic treatment for your child.
You probably will not know for sure if your child will need braces until he or she had a consultation with the orthodontist. However, here are a few signs you may look out for, indicating your child is likely to benefit from visiting the orthodontist:
- Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Delayed eruption of adult teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Teeth are crowded, blocked out, or misplaced
- Teeth are too far forward or sticking out
- Thumb- or finger-sucking
- Small or large lower jaw
- Missing teeth
- Upper teeth that are biting on the inside of lower teeth
These are just a few rather obvious signs that braces may benefit your child. However, a lot of other bite issues may not be picked up until a radiograph and a thorough assessment by your orthodontist is performed.
Early detection of orthodontic problems can allow timely intervention which allows guidance of jaw growth and development of dentition. Even if orthodontic treatment is not indicated at this stage, our orthodontists can monitor your child’s growth and development and start treatment at the most suitable timing.
The benefits of early interceptive treatments are:
- Preserving or creating spaces to allow eruption of adult teeth
- Reducing the need for teeth extraction
- Reducing risk of trauma of protruding front teeth
- Stop uneven toothwear and gum recession as a result of an underbite
- Shorten treatment time in braces
- Balancing facial profile by influencing jaw growth
Crooked teeth, or more correctly known as malocclusion, can be caused by a number of things. Crooked teeth can be an inherited trait. Parents with crooked teeth are more likely to have children with irregularly aligned teeth.
Environmental factors, such as disturbance of teeth development or excessive thumb-sucking can also lead to dental problems.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE REFER TO OUR BLOG POST ‘WHY DO I HAVE CROOKED TEETH?’
A space maintainer is a plate use to ‘hold space’ for adult teeth to erupt. Early loss of baby will result in drifting of adult teeth and subsequent loss of space for adult teeth to erupt properly. It is best to seek for an orthodontic consultation with an orthodontist, if your child has lost a baby tooth, or planning to have a baby tooth extracted, at an early age. A space maintainer can potentially reduce the severity of crooked teeth.
To find out more about early intervention,
see one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.