Orthodontic treatment for children
MP Orthodontics provide interceptive orthodontic treatment for kids and understand parents are confused about orthodontic treatment for their children.
Want to know the best time for your child’s first orthodontic treatment?
Wondering why some kids have braces or appliances from a very early age, while others don’t seem to need anything at all?
Orthodontic treatment for kids can be overwhelming. Especially when you don’t understand the basics. Even answering the question, “when is the best time for a child’s first orthodontic visit?” can leave a parent dazed and confused.
We totally understand how parents can be left wondering if they’re missing the boat. However, supported with the right information, parents and kids can make informed decisions about their best next steps for orthodontic treatment.
Is there a right time for a child’s first orthodontic treatment?
There’s no doubt orthodontic treatment is as individual as the person receiving it.
That said, a good rule of thumb any parent can use for knowing the best time for their child’s first orthodontic visit is provided by the Australian Association of Orthodontics.
They recommend children between 8 and 10 years visit a registered orthodontist for an assessment.
Why so early? Actually, there are some very good reasons. Let’s check them out.
Why should a child see an orthodontist when they’re 8 years old?
By the time a child is eight years of age, there should be enough permanent teeth to assess the relationship and development of your child’s teeth and jaws. In fact, this is the ideal time for your child to visit an orthodontist for the first time.
Many parents question whether this is too early, and that’s understandable, but here are some key reasons an early visit is better than one that’s too late:
- Potential issues can be identified and addressed before they become problems
- It may reduce treatment time and costs down the track
- The most effective solution can be implemented at the right time, rather than a less ideal (and usually more expensive) option down the track
- It can help boost a child’s self-confidence.
Although it’s not a silver bullet, early orthodontic treatment can reduce the severity of more complex problems emerging, if no treatment is implemented. Young jaws are much easier to manipulate painlessly. The good news is a specialist orthodontist is trained to help direct or manage teeth eruption and jaw growth, when required.
Does early assessment mean early treatment?
An early orthodontic assessment doesn’t mean your child will start treatment immediately. Nor will it eliminate the requirement for future treatment. In fact, your child’s early assessment may indicate treatment commence in several years’ time. For this reason, your child’s first orthodontic visit is like insurance. It means you’ll have the information needed to make the right treatment choice for your child.
In those cases where orthodontic treatment is advised, a child will commence with a Phase I treatment.
This level of treatment may be advised if your child presents with one or a number of the following appearance and behavioural characteristics:
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Undesirable habits, such as finger sucking beyond the age of five or six years
- Open bite where front teeth don’t overlap.
- Deep bite where there is too much overlap of the front teeth
- Underbite where lower front teeth are in front of the uppers
- Crossbite where upper back teeth sit inside of the lowers
- Mouth breathing
- Protrusive teeth
- Functional problems where chewing and speech are affected
No parent can be expected to understand all the orthodontic issues with the potential to affect their child. That’s why an early assessment at eight years of age is the ideal time for your child’s first orthodontic visit.
Although you may consult with your dentist, it’s important to be aware no referral letter is required to visit a specialist orthodontist.
Looking for peace of mind? Why not Make an appointment with one of our Melbourne Orthodontists at MP Orthodontics so your child’s smile is well looked after now and in the future?