The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Braces are great for achieving straight teeth; however, they are also used to correct abnormal bite patterns. Treatments like this are often best undergone at a young age, as its easier to correct with time spent in treatment. For this reason, many orthodontists advise that children begin treatment between the ages of eight and 14. While all orthodontists are trained dentists, only around 5% of dentists are trained in orthodontics. If your current dentist doesn’t specialize in orthodontic care, ask for a referral if they feel your child is in need of braces.
The Benefits of Braces for Kids
While misaligned teeth can cause a decrease in self-esteem, this and abnormal bite patterns can also contribute to other difficulties that could affect the ability to chew food and keep teeth clean. Braces for kids can have many additional benefits including:
- An improved ability to chew
- A reduction in impaired speech
- The ability to keep teeth cleaner and prevent cavities and periodontal disease
- Less grinding or teeth chipping
Braces for kids can help reduce issues and set them up to maintain better dental health for decades to come.
The Timeline for Braces
Depending on the stage of tooth development, treatment can be in one of two phases. This is done in cases where primary teeth are likely to negatively affect the incoming permanent teeth. If this is the case, primary treatment is undergone early when the jaw and palate are more pliable. Once all permanent teeth are in place, the secondary treatment can begin, which usually consists of traditional braces that help move teeth to their desired positions. Both phases can last anywhere from nine months to upwards of two years depending on the severity of the issues being treated. Regardless, tackling this issue early makes it easier for your child to maintain healthier teeth, and cuts down on future treatment times that would be even longer.
If your dentist has recommended braces for your child, consider asking for a referral to a trained orthodontist. The earlier orthodontic problems are corrected, the easier it will be for your child to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for decades to come.