As a parent with young children, many times things seem to happen too fast.
Starting school at age two? Cell phone at seven? Driving by eleven? Well, maybe that last one was a slight exaggeration, but when you have children, it can seem like they are growing up too fast and doing things that you did much earlier in life.
When I was growing up, it seemed that everyone got braces around the same time in middle school.
If you were about twelve or thirteen years old, there was a pretty good chance that you were sporting the metal mouth proudly for the world to see. As an adult who works with children for a living, I have seen more and more children start orthodontic treatment a good five years earlier than that, much to my confusion.
If you had braces as a child, and are scratching your head about the early treatment in the orthodontic field, it’s time to figure out whether early treatment is really helping your child in the long run.
First of all, the professionals at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend all children be seen initially around age six or seven to evaluate the growth and development of their mouth. At this age, most children have their 6-year-old molars in place and the doctor can begin to identify most orthodontic problems that your child might have in the future.
During these early visits doctors look for several things that sometimes cannot be seen with the naked eye.
First of all, doctors look for how much space is available in your child’s mouth. Too much space might prevent permanent teeth from coming in and too little space can cause overlap of teeth and teeth that don’t line up straight. Doctors can also see problematic bites, such as an overbite or a cross bite that could potentially cause more serious jaw problems later on. Finally, doctors can identify bad habits like thumb-sucking or teeth that might be a safety issue if not taken care of early.
Once your child has been evaluated, there are many different courses of action that can be taken.
In most cases, early orthodontic treatment will not completely prevent further treatment in the future. Now, before you go and swear off any orthodontist before the teenage years, there are several benefits to beginning treatment early for your child.
Although it is true that most children that start early treatment must finish up when all of their permanent teeth are in place, the treatment is often shorter and less painful.
The goal of early treatment is not to completely bypass the awkward adolescent stage of braces, but rather to help minimize and simplify treatment later.
Hiser Orthodontics is a leading orthodontist in Suwanee GA. As a provider of Invisalign in Suwanee GA, Hiser Orthodontics offers a variety of treatment options to help give you the beautiful and straight smile you have always dreamed of.