Dr. Pollard agrees with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), which recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early of an age, orthodontic treatment is often not necessary, but for some children that have specific jaw growth and tooth eruption abnormalities, a careful examination followed by the appropriate interceptive treatment ensures the greatest result and the least amount of treatment time and expense.
If your children possess any of the following common dental issues, they should see Dr. Pollard so he can check if early, interceptive orthodontic treatment is warranted:
• They tend to breath though their mouth more than their nose
• Their front or back teeth do not touch at all
• Their front or back teeth do not come together abnormally when biting.
• They have a finger or thumb sucking habit and are older than 7.
• They have a hard time biting or chewing food.
• They have lost baby teeth early or late.
• They have misplaced, crowded or blocked teeth.
• Their teeth and jaws are not in proportion to the rest of their face.
• There is a shift of the bite or jaws when they bite together.
• Their upper front teeth completely cover their lower front teeth (overbite).
• Their front teeth stick out too far.
Some of the most direct results of early, interceptive treatment are:
• Creating room for crowded, erupting adult teeth.
• Creating facial symmetry and balance by influencing jaw growth.
• Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
• Preserving space for unerupted teeth.
• Reducing treatment time with braces.
• Reduce the risk of permanent/adult tooth extractions later in life.
• Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches.
• Correcting/improving minor speech problems.
• Eliminating thumb and finger sucking habits.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. These include:
• Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
• Crossbites and overbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
• Openbites can lead to tongue-thrusting habits, eating difficulty, and speech impediments.
• Protruding front teeth are more susceptible to accidental trauma.
In other words, orthodontic treatment to align your teeth and bite can do more than provide you with a beautiful smile – it can improve your overall health.
To find out if your child would benefit from early, interceptive orthodontic treatment, please contact our office to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.