The primary dental condition parents want to protect their children from is tooth decay. Cavities are, in fact, one of the primary diseases children face today, and one of the conditions we work to help our patients avoid. At the same time, childhood is the best time to begin monitoring the development of the jaw.
Typically, parents do not start thinking about braces when their children are six or seven. Braces are something we usually see on teenagers, after all. What we have learned through extensive research, however, is that customized orthodontic treatment may provide the most benefit when performed in stages, including an early orthodontic phase before the teen years. At Esquire Dental Centres in Scarborough, Pickering, and North York, we look for indicators that show us the potential need for early orthodontic care. These include:
- An extended period of thumb sucking in the patient’s history
- A speech impediment is detected
- Front teeth are crowded
- Proper fit is lacking when upper and lower teeth meet
- Upper and lower teeth do not meet at all
- The patient has difficulty chewing or biting
- Primary teeth are lost very early or remain intact longer than normal (baby teeth fall out between the ages of 5 and 13)
- There is a noticeable protrusion in the top teeth
- Shifting occurs when the jaw opens and closes
- The patient breathes through his or her mouth
When a child reaches the age of 6 or 7, we begin to monitor the size of the arches, the palette, and teeth currently in place. If needed, this is the time during which early orthodontic treatment will be designed. Some call this pre-orthodontics. Like primary orthodontic care, pre-treatment is customized to the needs of the individual patient. Often, the goal of early orthodontics is to promote the growth of the jaw to keep up with the growth and size of permanent teeth as they come in. When early care is provided, there may be a decreased need for extractions before the implementation of primary orthodontic treatment.
The Benefits Of Early Orthodontic Care
A bad bite, gaps, overcrowding, and protrusion may occur for a number of reasons. When the potential for these problems can be detected, it saves the young patient from discomfort and poor oral health due to misalignment. Early care has also been shown to minimize a patient’s time in braces during the teen years.
Esquire Dental Centre is proud to offer patients care that is customized to their needs. Contact us in North York, Pickering, or Scarborough to schedule your family’s visit.