Early Treatment

When you’re looking for braces in Goose Creek, Summerville, Carnes Crossroads/Cane Bay, North Charleston, or Walterboro, SC, we at Cox Orthodontics are proud to be your premier choice. It’s our aim to give you a healthier and straighter smile, which we’re more than capable of accomplishing with our high-quality orthodontic treatments. We’re glad to serve patients of all ages in our family-friendly office environment – especially younger children who’ve yet to see an orthodontist. Many parents are unsure of when to first bring their child in for a visit to the orthodontist, but there’s actually a very simple answer to that question which we’ll be happy to teach you about.

When Should I Bring My Child in for a First Visit?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the ideal time to bring in your child for an orthodontic screening is at the age of seven. The reason for this is because this is when the adult molars typically first erupt. This allows the back bite to be established. When this occurs, we’re able to evaluate a child’s front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and judge whether there are any orthodontic problems.

During this initial evaluation, we’ll determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed. This can include crowding, crossbites, overbites, or gummy smiles. The early (or Phase I) treatment can include preventive, interceptive, or modifying treatment. For example, we may use a Herbst appliance to correct an extreme overbite. We’re capable of treating multiple problems with early treatment.

It’s important for us to mention that an early orthodontic screening doesn’t necessarily mean early orthodontic treatment. If there happens to be a problem, in many cases, we’ll just simply monitor your child’s oral growth and development and wait until the optimal time to start treatment.

What Are Some Reasons for Early Treatment?

Most of the time, we’ll wait until all of a child’s permanent teeth have grown in before we start orthodontic treatment. However, there are also reasons why we might feel like it’s appropriate to perform early treatment. Some of these reasons we might do so are because of the need to:

  • Create room for crowded and erupting teeth.
  • Preserve space for teeth that haven’t erupted yet.
  • Reduce the need for tooth extractions.
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
  • Influence jaw growth in order to promote facial symmetry.

Starting early treatment will improve the efficiency of the final orthodontic result. Also, it will most likely save you time and money in the long run.

Why Is Orthodontic Treatment for Children Important?

Orthodontic problems, such as misaligned teeth and bad bites, aren’t just detrimental because they look aesthetically unpleasing – they can cause many different oral and dental problems too. Some of these examples include the following:

  • Having crowded teeth make it harder for a child to properly clean his or her teeth. This will lead to a higher likelihood of the development of tooth decay or gum disease.
  • Open bites can end up causing speech impediments and other bad habits like tongue thrusting.
  • Crossbites can cause uneven tooth wear and unfavorable growth.
  • Protruding teeth happen to be more susceptible to getting chipped or fractured.

Contact Cox Orthodontics Today!

We’re proud to offer our efficient orthodontic treatment for children from our five convenient locations that are in the cities of Goose Creek, Summerville, Carnes Crossroads/Cane Bay,  North Charleston, and Walterboro, SC. If you’re interested to see if your child is a candidate for early orthodontic treatment, you can give us a call at (843) 553-4400 or fill out our online appointment request form. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to helping you attain a straighter and healthier smile!