What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children between the ages of 8-10 years visit a specialist orthodontist for assessment. This allows the orthodontist to evaluate your child’s existing and incoming teeth and determine whether or not early treatment might be necessary.

Early orthodontic treatment typically begins while the child’s jaw bones are still soft. They do not harden until the child reaches his/her late teens. Because the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces work faster than they do for adults.

Early orthodontic treatment, known as Phase One, aims to correct bite problems, such as an underbite, as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. It also helps to make room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to be properly placed as they come in. This will greatly reduce the risk of a child needing extractions later in life due to teeth getting crowded.


Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an Orthodontist by age 7. At this age, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in and crossbites, crowding and other concerns can be evaluated.

During early treatment, your Orthodontist can monitor your child for:

  • Thumb, pacifier or other oral habit

  • Crowded or misplaced teeth

  • Difficulty chewing or eating

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • Mouth breathing

  • Jaw that is not proportionate to the rest of the face

  • Teeth that come together abnormally

  • A jaw that pops or makes sounds when opening and closing

Orthodontists treat kids for many problems like:

  • Crowded or overlapping teeth

  • Problems with jaw growth and tooth development

  • Losing baby teeth too early/late

  • Habits like thumb sucking

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes the mouth (crossbites)

  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all

  • Mouth breathing, teeth grinding


What Are Indications for Early Treatment?

  • Early or late loss of permanent teeth

  • Difficulty in chewing

  • Breathing through the mouth

  • Thumb sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked–out teeth

  • Jaws that are that are too far forward or back

  • Biting the cheeks or into the roof of the mouth

  • Front teeth that do not meet, or meet in an abnormal way

  • An unbalanced facial appearance

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth


To learn more about orthodontics for kids, call one of our offices or schedule an appointment today.

Fairfax: 703-634-57330 | Burke: 703-297-4929


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