When should your child be seen for orthodontics?
Parents often ask this question. This is determined by the patients dental age rather than chronological age. Braces are generally linked with teenager yet this isn’t always true. Treatments can begin as early as seven years of age. A right time to have an orthodontist assess your child is after the front permanent teeth have grown out into the mouth or if there is intense crowding of the teeth. Frequent visits to the dentist are vital as they will be on look out for any problems that might benefit from early orthodontic procedure. Any issue should be referred to an orthodontist.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS:
- Baby teeth which are lost very early or very late. Maximum are lost between the age of 5-14
- Thumb sucking; specifically if its intense or relays on beyond the age of 4.
- Teeth that don’t bite properly or sticks out.
- Speech impediments like a lisp or slurring.
- Adult front teeth are crowded.
BENEFITS OF EARLY TREATMENT:
It is necessary that your dentist keeps a close eye on your child’s development since some problems are treated more effectively at a young age. As we grow old our jaw bone stops growing so orthodontic treatment turn out to be little difficult. If started at an early age we can guide the jaw bone growth and change their position and width. Another solution for adults is tooth removal or surgery. Early involvement can also help make sure there is enough space as the adult teeth start to come through in the correct position. Front teeth which jut out are very vulnerable to trauma. This is particularly true in young adults who are playing contact sports. Gum shields can reduce then eliminate the risks. Basic treatment to decrease the overjet can reduce the odds of catastrophic trauma to these teeth.
WHAT DOES EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT INVOLVE
Wearing a fixed or removable brace though removable is more common. If the child has a small jaw or teeth that stick out your orthodontist may recommend a twin block brace. This is detachable and repositions the jaws and helps them into the correct position. This is usually followed by a fixed brace
REFERRING CHILDREN FOR AN ORTHODONTIC ASSESSMENT
Your child can be referred by your dentist for a personal consultation and treatment at any time for an expert opinion. If your child qualifies for an NHS assessment for treatment they may be required to join a waiting lists before the braces can be fixed. This is because of limited funding available on the NHS. Normal waiting lists can upto 2 years.