Early Orthodontic Treatment: When’s The Best Age To Start?

orthodontic treatment for kids

Early orthodontic treatment is the ideal way to catch budding problems with your child’s developing mouth and jaw in its earliest and more easily correctible stages. This type of dental treatment can be used to intercept common problems such as overcrowding, misaligned teeth, incorrect bites etc. in order to reduce the severity of problems that will arise as your child grows into an adult.

When’s the best age to start, however? We usually recommend starting early orthodontic treatment between the ages of 7 and 10. Starting early orthodontic treatment this young while your child’s jawbone is still malleable and developing makes it easier for our orthodontist or dentist to make the necessary changes to ensure a healthy smile.  If you’re considering this treatment for your child, consult with our family dentist at Wyndham Dental to see if this is the right fit for them at this stage in their life! If your child shows signs of bite problems before the age of 7, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible for a treatment plan.

Benefits of early orthodontic treatment

Early orthodontic intervention holds plenty of benefits for your child’s developing smile, including:

1. Prevention of long-term dental issues

Reduce the need for more costly and complicated dental treatments in the long run by addressing any potential problems early on. Correcting problems such as overcrowding, crooked teeth or an incorrect bite can also prevent early tooth loss, which in itself can lead to several other dental issues.

2. Improved confidence

Never underestimate the confidence a healthy, beautiful smile can bring! Being happy with how their smile looks will more often give your child a boost in self-esteem. They will be less likely to hold back from smiling and laughing in social settings, allowing them to interact more comfortably with friends. These interactions are an important part of childhood development.

3. Corrects speech difficulties

Did you know a misaligned bite can cause speech impairments such as lisping? Improve your child’s ability to speak and enunciate by using early orthodontic treatments that correct their bite.

4. Improved digestion

A misaligned bite and crooked teeth mean that your child is not breaking down their food as well as they could be. Early orthodontic treatment doesn’t just help with speaking, but also chewing and swallowing your food. Straight teeth and an aligned jaw help your child easily chew their food into smaller pieces, which has proven to be more beneficial for digestion.

Are there any disadvantages?

As you are investing in correcting your child’s smile and protecting them from painful dental conditions in adulthood, this may be a time-consuming task that requires regular visits to our dentist. It will require some investment in the early stages. However, the costs you will save in the long run while ensuring the oral health of your child will make this well worth the visits!

Invisalign: the fastest orthodontic treatment?

Invisalign is known to be one of the faster orthodontic treatments available, in which transparent aligners are used to gently guide your teeth into their desired positions. These trays are switched out regularly in order to make sure your teeth are correctly positioned. Depending on the complexity of your individual case, the average treatment time can last from about 6 to 18 months. It is also removable, which means it won’t affect your oral hygiene routine or any extracurricular activities. We usually only recommend this for milder orthodontic issues, however.

Braces: ideal for early treatments?

Braces are generally the go-to orthodontic treatment for a range of ages and cases in terms of severity. In most cases, our patients don’t need or realise they need braces until they are teenagers. But if your younger child’s teeth are crowded or crooked, early orthodontic treatment using braces might prove to be beneficial.

Conventional braces involve using metal brackets, wires and bands that guide your teeth into a more aligned position. These traditional braces usually remain in place for around 18-30 months, after which you will have to wear a retainer for at least another 12 months.  These durations will depend on the complexity of the case.

With the development of modern dentistry, however, we now are able to offer braces in more discrete forms. We also have ceramic braces that use tooth-coloured materials to blend in better with your smile instead of metal. Lingual braces are a different type of brace that are attached to the back of the teeth instead of over the front. This makes them less visible, and also ideal for early treatments.

Early orthodontic treatment for your child may require some investment upfront, but it will prove to be worth it in the long run as it ensures a healthy, beautiful smile for your child that will last into adulthood. Reduce the need for more invasive treatments in the future; speak to one of our dentists if you feel like your child’s smile would benefit from early orthodontic treatment.