Why Early Orthodontic Assessment is Crucial for Kids: The Role of Braces in Development

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Choosing the right time to start considering braces and kids orthodontics can be overwhelming. When do you start? What should you do? What’s safe? What concerns are worth addressing now, and what can wait? We understand that you want your children to be happy and healthy, which is why we are here to help ensure a smooth and worry-free orthodontic journey. 

kid with her mom on the way to the Greg Brown Orthodontics dental clinic

Today, we are sharing the benefits of early orthodontic assessments and how they can answer the questions above. It’s not just about braces—it’s about making sure your child’s teeth, jaws, and mouth develop in the best way possible. So, let’s dive into why starting this adventure early can make all the difference for your little ones.

When to Start on Kids Orthodontics – The Ideal Age

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, your child’s first orthodontic appointment should happen around the time they turn seven. 

Children typically have a mix of primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth at this age. This unique dental stage allows orthodontists to spot potential issues early—sometimes before they become more complicated or require surgical intervention. Essentially, we can get a future picture of how the adult teeth will come in and see if there is concern about jaw growth, misalignments, or habits that could affect your child’s dental development, like thumb-sucking or prolonged pacifier use.

Of course, bringing them in for a kids orthodontics assessment doesn’t mean they will have to start treatment right away – it’s simply laying a road map for the future. If they do need treatment eventually, it will allow you as their guardian to take your time in considering their dental treatment options, from timing to financing. 

Rest assured, not all children need treatment at this age. However, it’s a critical step for those who do, allowing for timely interventions that can simplify or even prevent the need for more extensive orthodontic work later on.

Detecting and Treating Common Dental Issues Early

kid orthodontic assessment with Greg Brown Orthodontics

Kids orthodontic assessments are essential in catching problems early on. Just like any health issue, if left unchecked, unaddressed problems could snowball into something bigger down the line. At Greg Brown Orthodontics, we’re on the lookout for several indicators that suggest your child might benefit from early intervention. These can include:

1. Habits That Affect Dental Development: 

Thumb-sucking, prolonged pacifier use, and similar oral habits can influence your child’s teeth and jaw development. Identifying these habits early gives us a chance to guide your child toward healthier oral practices. 

2. Crowding and Misplaced Teeth: 

As your child’s permanent teeth start to make their entrance, there might not be enough room for them all. Early assessments help us predict and manage crowding issues, ensuring space for those new teeth. 

3. Bite Problems: 

Underbites, overbites, and crossbites can affect how your child eats, speaks, and smiles. We can often correct or improve these issues with less invasive methods by evaluating them early. 

4. Jaw Growth Concerns: 

The alignment of your child’s jaw can significantly impact their oral health and the appearance of their smile. Early treatment can guide jaw growth in a more favorable direction.

Early orthodontic treatment at Greg Brown Orthodontics addresses developmental issues early, guiding jaw growth and correcting bite problems to ensure a healthier future and a beautiful smile for your child.

The Roles of Braces and Appliances for Kids Orthodontics

Early intervention in orthodontics is like setting the stage for a child’s smile to develop beautifully and healthily. By guiding the jaw’s growth and ensuring teeth have enough room to emerge correctly, early treatment helps lay down the foundation for proper alignment. This alignment is crucial, not just for the look of the smile but for how a child speaks and maintains oral hygiene. 

Braces and other appliances, such as expanders, are transformative tools in this process. They do more than straighten teeth; they help adjust the width of a patient’s jaw, ensuring that there’s enough space for permanent teeth to find their proper places.

One of the standout benefits of starting orthodontic treatment early is the potential to avoid tooth extractions later on. By managing space in the mouth efficiently, we can often prevent the need to remove teeth to make room for others. Additionally, correcting harmful habits like thumb-sucking early on can avoid issues that would require more intensive treatment down the line. 

Early treatment not only helps align teeth and jaws for better speech and easier cleaning but also acts as a preventive measure against future dental complications. At Greg Brown Orthodontics, we leverage these early interventions to set kids on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Beyond the Teeth: Psychological and Social Benefits

kid smiling at her mom going to the dentist

Early orthodontic treatment goes beyond just aligning teeth—it plays a vital role in boosting a child’s self-esteem and enhancing their social interactions. A confident smile can significantly impact how children view themselves and interact with others. 

Addressing orthodontic issues early can prevent kids from feeling self-conscious about their smiles, allowing them to express themselves more freely and confidently. This newfound confidence can lead to better social experiences, making it easier for them to make friends and participate in activities. 

Paving the Way for Lifelong Dental Health

Monitoring your child’s dental development is vital to ensuring they grow up with optimal oral health. Regular dental check-ups are crucial in this journey, allowing professionals to catch potential issues early and take preventive measures. 

We’re dedicated to early intervention at Greg Brown Orthodontics, offering orthodontic options tailored to each child’s needs. Our approach focuses on addressing common dental issues early on, ensuring your child’s smile remains healthy and confident.

We understand the importance of a comprehensive strategy that includes not just treatment but also guidance on maintaining oral hygiene and preventing future problems. We pride ourselves on creating personalized care plans that consider your child’s unique dental landscape, aiming for outcomes that promote not just aesthetic improvement but long-term dental health.

Ensure your child’s healthy smile and development with an early orthodontic assessment at Greg Brown Orthodontics. Schedule your child’s first visit today!