Early Orthodontic TreatmentCamas, WA
Early orthodontic treatments have made it possible to detect dental concerns in the development period, allowing orthodontists to diagnose, prevent, and treat various conditions in a patient’s childhood. Early orthodontics is intended for intervention purposes to prevent further complications from arising or developing into a child’s permanent adult teeth. Advances in dental technologies allow us to treat decayed and damaged teeth, while also correcting jaw placement to help the teeth develop properly and function normally.
At All Star Orthodontics, we offer early orthodontic treatments for our young patients experiencing dental and misalignment issues. Our team can help your child’s teeth and mouth develop and keep them well-maintained. To learn more about a procedure or schedule an appointment, call 360-799-3466 today.
About Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontics covers a wide range of treatments that require intervention to save decayed or damaged teeth, aiding in the development of permanent teeth. Children have enough permanent teeth by the age of 7, allowing orthodontists the ability to detect and treat various conditions. At the same time, they can evaluate teeth and jaw development to help guide them to their proper placement.
Early orthodontics treatment generally consists of a few procedures that we recommend prior to teeth-straightening applications, such as braces and clear aligners for children. During this time, we follow-up with the patient throughout their treatment and monitor progress until all of their permanent teeth have erupted. When a child’s teeth are matured, we can discuss possible treatment options and help you and your child choose the one that works best for you. Early orthodontic treatments become necessary when a child’s oral health status is affecting their hygiene, their current conditions(s) are causing damage to surrounding teeth and bone, or their teeth or jaw are growing in the wrong direction.
Factors That Affect Children’s Oral Health
Oral health is affected by a variety of different factors including genetic, environmental, and behavioral influences. These factors impact the way in which teeth, gums, and the jaw develop. In many cases, these factors can change over time if left untreated or the patient practices poor hygiene habits.
Genetics: Many children are born with malocclusions, or misaligned teeth, that naturally develop into permanent adult teeth. Certain dental and facial irregularities, disorders, and disease limit bone growth, ensuing further complications as teeth develop.
Environmental: Thumb-, finger-, and pacifier-sucking are of the most common risk factors of children needing orthodontic treatments. Research has shown that constant pressure of the lip muscles and tongue from sucking causes disturbances in skeletal and occlusal development. Many cases of protruding and oversized primary teeth are due to sucking, especially into late toddler-hood. Environmental factors also include, but are not limited to, injuries, poor nutrition, and severely decayed and damaged teeth.
Poor Hygiene: Poor hygiene habits include inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing and missing routine dental checkups and cleanings. The CDC recommends brushing babies’ and children’s teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Pregnant women who practice poor hygiene or have untreated cavities risk causing the same conditions in their children. It is important to implement good hygiene habits during pregnancy as it affects prenatal development. We advise parents to take their child to their first dental check-up by their first birthday to examine their tooth and jaw growth and postnatal development.
Conditions We Can Treat
Orthodontic treatments have advanced tremendously, allowing orthodontists to perform a variety of treatments on children with only baby teeth. The purpose of this intervention is to guide the teeth to proper positioning when it becomes apparent they are moving in the wrong direction. Guiding teeth with the use of orthodontic appliances and treatments allows the emerging permanent teeth to maintain proper development into adulthood while also stimulating bone growth.
The American Association of Orthodontists finds that early orthodontic treatments are beneficial for children with apparent oral conditions that could worsen over time. Concerning dental issues that warrant early orthodontic treatment include, but are not limited to:
- Underbites (lower front teeth are ahead of upper front teeth)
- Crossbites (jaw shifts to one side)
- Overly-crowded teeth
- Excessively spaced teeth
- Extra or missing teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or do not meet at all
- Baby teeth that are in the way of growing permanent teeth
The emergence of Invisalign® First paved the way for early orthodontic treatments in children as young as 6 years old. Invisalign® First treatments are designed to treat a variety of simple to complex issues in developing primary teeth including crowding and spacing issues as well as narrowed dental arches. The aligners’ clear and removable design allows young children to keep their oral hygiene up to par while staying discreet and enjoying normal activities.
Good candidates for Invisalign® First are young patients who have minor to severe misalignment issues but no tooth decay or damage. Clear aligners exert a small amount of pressure and can weaken the teeth, which is why we recommend children have all of their dental work completed prior to Invisalign® First treatment. We initiate and manage all of our Invisalign® patients and schedule routine check-ups to continually monitor progress.
Schedule a Visit Today
Invisalign® First consultations and treatments are available at our office. The All Star Orthodontics team looks forward to treating your child and guiding their teeth to help them achieve their true smile. Call our office at 360-799-3466 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Early Orthodontic Treatments
How can I know as a parent that my child needs early orthodontic treatment?
Early signs of orthodontic conditions can be detected in the development phase of children’s primary teeth. A child who is experiencing misalignment issues or trouble keeping up their oral hygiene because of overcrowding should visit an orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as these signs appear. During a child’s first dental visit (by their first birthday), the dentist should be able to recognize any concerning signs in the patient’s mouth and will likely refer them to an orthodontist for examination.
What is the treatment process like?
During the first appointment, we conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth, take X-rays, and discuss treatment options with the parent. Upon choosing the right treatment option, we can customize an individualized treatment plan for the child’s needs. On the next visit, the treatment or procedure is initiated and the patient undergoes a fitting to ensure their appliance fits snugly and comfortably in their mouth.
How do children maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment?
We encourage parents to have ongoing discussions with their children about the benefits of good oral hygiene and practice these habits with them. Good oral hygiene consists of brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing daily, and visiting the dentist every 6 months for routine checkups and cleanings. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment will be shown how to properly brush and floss with appliances as well as how to maintain them.
How much does orthodontics typically cost for children?
Every treatment type and case is different, and the cost of treatment will vary for each patient. The cost of early orthodontics largely depends on the patient’s condition, the complexity of their condition, and the treatment duration. We will discuss the cost and payment options during the consultation appointment should you choose to initiate treatment.
How long is the average treatment duration?
The duration of early orthodontic treatments vary depending on age, severity, and current oral state. Since the teeth and jaw are still developing, children typically only need six months to a year of treatment. Some children may require up to two years of treatment if their case is severe or if the majority of their permanent teeth have erupted. The length of treatment will be discussed during the consultation appointment.
Will early orthodontic treatment keep my child’s teeth straight into adulthood?
While early orthodontic intervention is intended to guide the teeth into proper positioning, teeth have a natural inclination to shift back to their original placement. In many cases, guidance during early intervention keeps the teeth well-positioned into adulthood and the patient never needs additional treatment. However, in some cases, the patient may need a second round of treatment later in life. It is crucial for orthodontic patients to continually see a dentist and orthodontist after treatment to monitor tooth movement and ensure their teeth are well-positioned.
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