SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Many San Diego parents may wonder when they should look into orthodontic services for their child.
The recommendation for an orthodontic screening is by age 7, because this is the point when many oral problems become apparent, according to information found on the Colgate website.
Intervening while your child is still growing can give an opportunity for a more effective treatment. If it is needed, your child’s orthodontic treatment plan can be determined; however, this initial appointment doesn’t mean your child will definitely need braces.
“The orthodontist may want to monitor your child’s growth and development,” says a specialist in orthodontics for adults and children. “They may begin treatment later when they are ready.”
She explains a few advantages to early intervention.
Reducing The Need For Surgery Later
Underbites can be detected early. The best time to fix this problem is while the bones are still growing. Once the bones are fused together, the only way to correct it may be surgery.
“For an adult, fixing an underbite can be long and tedious,” says a San Diego orthodontist. “The best thing to do is try and prevent it.”
Underbite surgery consists of fracturing the jaw, putting it back into the correct position and wiring the jaw shut. Typically, prior to surgery, a patient needs to wear braces for a year. Post-surgery, the patient needs to stay on a liquid diet until the jaw has healed.
Guiding Permanent Teeth Into Place
The orthodontist can monitor the way permanent teeth erupt using X-rays. If room needs to be created, braces can be bonded to the four top and bottom incisors. This is called a Phase-I treatment plan.
Once the teeth are aligned properly, a retainer is cemented in to keep the space for permanent teeth.
Habits Can Be Stopped Before Causing Damage
Thumb and finger sucking, pacifiers and other oral habits can cause serious issues with the formation of the permanent teeth and structure of the face. If it isn’t corrected early, facial imbalance, protrusion of teeth and speech problems can occur.
An orthodontist can prescribe your child with a bitter medicine for thumb and finger sucking. If that doesn’t work, a habit crib can be cemented into the mouth that makes it unpleasant for your child to continue their thumb and finger sucking.
Having your child evaluated by a children’s orthodontics expert who can recognize these early warning signs may guide your child away from serious and painful dental problems down the road. A beautiful, healthy smile is the goal.
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