Early Orthodontic Treatment
At the orthodontic offices of Dr. Michael W. Cox in Goose Creek, Summerville, North Charleston and Walterboro, South Carolina, we encourage all parents to bring their children in for an early orthodontic evaluation. Receiving orthodontic care earlier rather than later can pose as a huge advantage for the development of your child’s teeth and mouth as well as their future oral health. If Dr. Cox determines that it is too early for treatment, he and his team will be able to determine when your child will be ready and if/when treatment should commence.
Early orthodontic treatment varies between patients, but may include removable or fixed appliances that can do the following:
- Provide room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Preserve space for unerupted teeth
- Created facial symmetry through manipulating jaw growth
- Reduce the possibility of tooth extraction
- Reduce overall treatment time in braces
When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the g reatest results and the least amount of time and expenses. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, however detailed examination can anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
How will early orthodontic evaluation benefit my child?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Cautious intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. The sooner you act, the lower risk your child will have of developing future problems. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why age 7?
By the time a child turns 7, the first molars erupt, thus establishing the back bite. This is an ideal time for orthodontists to evaluate front-to-back and side-to-tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an amazing smile earlier in your child’s life.
What are some orthodontic problems I should look out for?
According to the AAO, the following are some early warning signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Finger sucking or other oral habits
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Grinding or clinching of teeth
What are the advantages of preventive orthodontics?
Some of the direct results of early orthodontic treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
My child has a bad bite, should it be treated?
Malocclusions, or bad bites, are misalignments of the teeth that occur when the upper and lower jaw do not line up correctly. Untreated bad bites can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and floss properly, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accident chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and cause speech impediments
At Dr. Cox’s orthodontic offices, conveniently located in Summerville, Goose Creek, Walterboro and North Charleston, we know that orthodontics can be a daunting idea to both you and your child. This is why we offer top-of-the-line treatments in a comfortable environment where you can feel safe and at home. Ultimately, orthodontics will do more than give your child a beautiful smile – it will create a healthier smile that will last them a lifetime! If you would like to schedule an examination for your child, please contact one of our locations area offices today!