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The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2024
cropped image of young patient with early orthodontic treatment retainer in hand.

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children have an evaluation by an orthodontist at age seven or eight. This evaluation is important for monitoring the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws. Early detection of any issues can help prevent more serious problems.

When required, starting orthodontic treatment at a young age often leads to optimal dental health. Once your child gets their first permanent molars, they establish the back bite. This allows us to determine how the bite is taking shape and provide treatment recommendations where necessary.

The MP Orthodontics approach to early treatment is to use the most conservative treatments possible. Often, we can achieve amazing results without two-phase orthodontic treatment. In complex cases, early treatment may be the only way to avoid surgical correction during adulthood.

Early orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment starts when a child has baby teeth and is referred to as phase 1 of the two-phase or interceptive treatment. The second phase occurs after the loss of baby teeth as the child’s permanent teeth start to come in.

As specialists in dentofacial orthopaedics, we use a range of orthodontic treatments to guide the growth of upper and lower dental arches into optimal positions. This allows for the correction of issues such as crowding and bite alignment and makes room for permanent teeth to come in correctly.

When your child needs interceptive orthodontic treatment, it doesn’t always mean they will require a full set of braces. Phase 1 orthodontic treatment may include devices such as palatal expanders until the desired movement or growth is achieved. Your orthodontist will then pause the treatment to allow all the permanent teeth to come in. Finally, braces or Invisalign Teen may be recommended in phase 2 treatment when they are teenagers.

Early orthodontic treatment can be faster and more effective compared to adult orthodontics. Early orthodontic treatment may not be suitable for every child as there are many factors to consider, all of which will be explained by your specialist orthodontist.

If you think your child may need early orthodontic treatment or would like a second opinion, speak to our team today.

MP Orthodontics treatment facilities providing orthodontic treatments in Sandringham VIC

How important is early orthodontic treatment?

Most parents appreciate the importance of dental health for overall health and well-being. Early treatment can help with the development of underlying bones which support the teeth and gums. Providing adequate space for adult teeth and improving oral function has many long-term dental benefits.

Maintaining oral health and hygiene

Crooked and crowded teeth can make effective cleaning difficult. They create additional areas where plaque and bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Early corrective procedures can ensure that maintaining your child’s oral health is easier now and in the future.

Premature loss of teeth

If a child’s baby teeth fall out too early, the surrounding teeth can begin shifting. This increases the risk of their adult teeth erupting in a crooked and awkward position. Careful treatment planning can help the tooth straightening process and allow adult teeth to come in at the correct positions.

During early treatment, the appliance keeps the surrounding teeth firmly in place if baby teeth fall out. In turn, permanent teeth can erupt easily in the correct position.

Correcting bite problems

Malocclusion describes a misaligned bite. It can cause teeth to grow awkwardly and may encourage crowding. It can lead to headaches, jaw and fascial pain. Untreated, these symptoms can lead to psychological effects and affect the everyday day life of children.

Early orthodontic treatment can reduce malocclusion and help your child’s mouth and teeth grow correctly. Treating bite problems early is easier as bones are growing and respond more rapidly to treatment. Treatment time is often shorter as the range of treatment options is broader.

Helping prevent dental trauma

Left untreated, crooked teeth and misaligned bites can cause problems later in life. Issues affecting dental health, bite function and premature wear are common. During adulthood, these issues may require more complex treatments to be corrected. 

Crooked teeth can also grow in awkward positions and stick out making them more susceptible to physical damage. Straightening them early on can help prevent this, especially since children are prone to falling and having accidents which can chip or break teeth.

Saving time and money

If dental problems are left untreated, they can worsen over time. Diagnosing and treating orthodontic problems early generally means treatments are shorter which reduces the overall cost. Generally speaking, the more complex a dental problem is to solve, the longer it will take, and is likely to be more expensive.

Helping reduce or correct speech problems

A bad bite or misaligned teeth may cause speech impediments. Overbites may cause children to experience difficulties pronouncing ‘s’ or ‘z’ sounds. Underbites can cause difficulties with ‘d’ and ‘t’ sounds.

Dr Geoff Hall during orthodontic treatment at MP Orthodontics Melbourne

About Dr Geoff Hall

Author, international speaker, and myth-busting orthodontist, Dr Georey Hall has been a central figure in the field of orthodontics in Australia and internationally for several decades. He is the founder and director of theOrthoED Institute and CAPS.

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