When Does My Child Need Orthodontic Treatment?
One of the most common questions that almost all parents ask from their child’s dentist is “when does my child need orthodontics?”. Very good question indeed! This shows that you are very careful about your child’s health and well-being. However, to completely answer this question, you must understand in what cases does orthodontic treatment become necessary?
When is Orthodontic Treatment Required?
The basic purpose of orthodontic treatment is required for the correction of improperly aligned teeth and jaw relationship. Your child’s dentist or orthodontist is the best person to decide when, or whether an orthodontic treatment is required at all. However, if your child has any of the following problems, then he or she may be a candidate for getting orthodontic treatment.
- Crowding – when there is insufficient space in the jaws available to accommodate all teeth in proper alignment, teeth tend to become crowded and misaligned.
- Open Bite – it is a condition, where is there is space between your child’s upper and lower teeth when the back teeth are in occlusion.
- Crossbite – it is a condition where the upper teeth are either positioned too close to the cheek or the tongue in comparison to the lower teeth. In either case, proper chewing and digestion of food become difficult
- Overbite – overbite, also known as “buck teeth” is a condition where the upper front teeth are vertically overlapping the lower front teeth in excess.
- Underbite – this is a condition where the lower teeth overlap the upper front teeth.
- Excessive Spacing – sometimes, there are excessive spaces between teeth, which not only creates esthetic concerns for your child but also make chewing and speech difficult.
- Displaced Midline – a displaced facial midline can result either because of improperly aligned teeth or due to skeletal asymmetries. Both cases require orthodontic treatment to prevent functional and esthetic problems.
Why is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
If your child’s orthodontist decides that an orthodontic treatment is required, you should take it very seriously. This is because your child’s overall physical health and well-being is directly dependent on his dental health. In other cases, ortho treatment is for ethetic reasons only, which can also be very important to child, parent or both.
When Should I Take My Child to an Orthodontist?
According to most dentists in Canada, the ideal age for your child’s first visit to an orthodontist is about 7 years. Although the orthodontist may not initiate any treatment at this stage, any abnormality with your child’s teeth will be noted and orthodontic treatment will be initiated as soon as the child is about to hit puberty. There are various different reasons why your child may need to see the orthodontist either earlier or later, but you will be guided by your dentist.
What is the Best Age to Start Orthodontic Treatment of Your Child?
The best time to start your child’s orthodontic treatment will be decided by the orthodontist, after careful evaluation and clinical examination. Most children have their adult teeth by the age of 12 so that is a common time to start ortho treatment.
Conventional Orthodontic Treatment – Conventional orthodontic treatment is initiated when a child has lost all the primary teeth and the permanent ones have fully erupted. This can occur anywhere between the ages of 8 and 14 years. Conventional orthodontic treatment is usually performed with the help of teeth braces. However, removable orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign clear aligners can also be used.
Interceptive Orthodontics – In some severe cases, your child may need more than two phases of orthodontic treatment. in such as case, the orthodontist can decide to initiate the first phase of orthodontic treatment at an earlier age (7-10 years). This is done in an attempt to prevent serious orthodontic problems during adult life. In interceptive orthodontics, the growth of your child will be utilized to correct tooth misalignment and facial skeletal deformities with the help of special orthodontic appliances known as the “Myofunctional appliances”.
Ensuring that your kids have perfectly aligned teeth through orthodontic treatment is as essential as looking after their diet and physical activity. No doubt orthodontic treatment is quite costly, but the benefits of your child having straight teeth through orthodontics are much greater than the cost of treatment. if you feel that your child has crooked or misaligned teeth, ask your dentist if your child needs orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign- Invisalign may be an option for your child’s orthodontic treatment. Unlike traditional “metal” braces, invisalign is a series of clear aligners that your child wears that gradually to correct the misalignment of their teeth. They are removable to facilitate cleaning of the teeth. Although a great alternative, ask your dentist or orthodontist weather invisalign is an option for your child.