Child’s Health: The benefits of early orthodontic treatment

You might have heard about early orthodontics as an effective tooth straightening option for children. This enables them to have the best smile possible from a young age, but there are so many more advantages to early orthodontics than meets the eye.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of early orthodontic treatment to ensure your child has optimal dental health now and into the future. Let’s take a look!

What is early orthodontic treatment?

For centuries, the idea of straighter teeth can be traced as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who used metal bands made from the guts of animals to apply pressure to their teeth, much like today’s braces. Thanks to modern developments, we’ve come a long way since then with a whole range of braces for children and teens, including clear aligners! 

Phase 1 early orthodontic treatment (also known as interceptive orthodontics) can start as early as 8 years old to correct and prevent any serious oral issues from developing, alongside improving oral hygiene and making room for permanent teeth to emerge properly.

Signs your child may need early orthodontic treatment

There are several ways to determine whether or not your child requires early orthodontic treatment. If you happen to spot any of the signs listed, book for a consultation with your nearest specialist orthodontist in London for a clinical assessment. 

  • Early loss of baby teeth (before the age of 5)
  • Thumbsucking (after the age of 5)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Shifting of the jaw when they open or close their mouth
  • Crowded teeth (visible by the age of 7)

 

The benefits of early orthodontic treatment

 

Fixes misaligned teeth  

The most obvious benefit to early orthodontic treatment is fixing misaligned teeth such as underbites, overbites, crossbites. This is to help alleviate jaw pain and manage crowding or space issues, as well as long term improvements to your child’s bite by slowly moving misplaced teeth to their correct position.

 

Guides jaw growth & adult teeth

To follow, early treatment creates plenty of space for permanent adult teeth to erupt correctly. It decreases the risk of trauma or injury, and guides jaw growth in the process since the bones are more malleable and therefore easier to adjust.

 

Reduces risk of tooth decay

A study by the PHE found that 10.7% of 3 year olds had experienced tooth decay in England, and treating it early could greatly improve their oral health overall. Children who have crooked or crowded teeth find it much harder to brush thoroughly, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. That’s why giving teeth more space in the mouth through early orthodontic treatment is vital to reducing the risk of tooth decay and maintaining a healthier daily routine. 

 

Helps with speech  

The alignment of your smile is important for the tongue to move around properly and hit your teeth when speaking. If you have a misaligned jaw or teeth, your speech can be altered as air escapes through these openings. Early orthodontic treatment helps to eliminate any speech impediments such as lisping or slurring.

 

Improves self-esteem

Finally, as we grow up, children will have their own insecurities and may feel self-conscious about their appearance. Straighter teeth will give your child the confidence to smile and be happier with their appearance – something that will hopefully carry on into the teenage years and adulthood.

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