Did you know that early orthodontic care may help you avoid costly treatment in the future? Like most things in life, orthodontic health can be much more manageable if you get ahead of it. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that a child visits the orthodontist by age 7 in order to keep their oral health in check. Much like you wouldn’t skip a well visit with a pediatrician or a dentist appointment, you shouldn’t wait until your child absolutely needs braces to get an orthodontist’s opinion. Keep reading to learn more about how an early visit to the orthodontist may help you avoid more costly or invasive treatments in the future from Dr. Christopher Murphy and Dr. Lisa Peter Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics.
There are several things an orthodontist may suggest when seeing a child. They may suggest a palatal expander, early interceptive treatment, baby tooth removal, or other things. A palatal expander is often used when the patient is still growing. This device in younger patients may reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth or prevent teeth from impacting. Cases that are not corrected in growing patients may require surgery down the road or lead to abnormal wear and tear on teeth.
Early interceptive treatment (aka a short time in braces before all the permanent teeth erupt) can correct problems early on to prevent larger problems later. Additionally, removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth emerge better and encourage them to come into a more ideal position without an orthodontic appliance.
It is important to note that an early visit to the orthodontist doesn’t necessarily result in orthodontic treatment. It simply is a precautionary measure for a child’s oral health and could help to identify and/or prevent some oral issues in the future. If you have any questions about when your child should see an orthodontist or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.