Although people may think that most of the patients who visit the orthodontist are teenagers or pre-teens, younger children can also benefit from orthodontic treatment.
If our Ridgefield CT orthodontist intervenes when a child is at a young age, later treatment may achieve the desired goals in a shorter timeframe. Most orthodontic patients would jump at the opportunity to spend less time wearing metal brackets and wires that conceal their pearly whites.
Problems with the alignment of the teeth and jaws often emerge when the child is losing deciduous teeth and replacing them with permanent teeth, a process that typically occurs between ages 5 and 12. Baby teeth that are lost too early can make the permanent teeth come in crooked, as can baby teeth that remain in the mouth longer than average. If the bone structure prevents the permanent teeth from coming in straight, then braces or some other orthodontic treatment will be necessary to correct this problem.
To address these problems as early as possible, it’s appropriate to initiate orthodontic treatment in school-aged children. It is not necessary, or even desirable, to wait until the permanent teeth are all in place before commencing the process.
Often, orthodontists who work with younger patients will do preventive work that can eliminate the need for extensive orthodontic treatment when those patients reach adolescence. For example, the orthodontist might use devices that help to expand narrow arches, providing ample room for permanent teeth to erupt. Orthodontists can also fit children with appliances that promote proper jaw positioning to reduce the risk of developing an underbite or an overbite.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment that will pay lifelong dividends. In order to achieve the best outcomes, schedule a consultation with Dr. Steve Giannoutsos when your child is at a young age to determine if your child has any issues that need to be addressed earlier rather than later. Early planning will set the foundation for a successful orthodontic treatment.