Your pediatric dentist has recommended that your child get orthodontic treatment now -- and your youngster still has most of his or her baby teeth. Does that make any sense? Actually, although most children don't get braces until all or nearly all of their baby teeth are gone, some do benefit from early orthodontic intervention.
The Purpose of Early Intervention
In some cases, providing orthodontic care when a child still has most of the baby teeth prevents worse dental problems in the future. For instance, the orthodontist can guide the permanent teeth into proper position when the child receives corrective treatment for jaw structure and baby teeth positioning. The permanent teeth now are more likely to grow in straight and not overcrowded or spaced far apart.
Gradually moving the baby teeth and the jaw also helps the child chew and bite correctly.
What Early Treatment Involves
Your child might only need a retainer to wear at night or throughout the day. The retainer would be removed whenever the youngster eats. You'll closely monitor your child to make sure he or she complies with wearing the retainer. It can be tough to keep a kid of elementary school age motivated to do so, and you'll need to act as a coach.
Depending on the severity of the problem, he or she may need to have braces attached to the teeth for several months.
The Possibility of Future Orthodontic Treatment
Your child may still need to have braces when the permanent teeth come in, even if early care was provided. The second stage of orthodontic care is intended to resolve any problems that do occur with teeth positioning, for both functional and cosmetic reasons.
The second course of treatment is likely to be much shorter than it would have been without the early intervention. When a child's orthodontic issues are severe enough to warrant early therapy but does not receive it, he or she might have to wear braces for three or four years later on. That can be difficult for many preteens and teenagers, who often have trouble with self-esteem while wearing braces.
What Can You Do Next?
Your pediatric dentist can refer you to an orthodontist who is experienced with providing care for young children. Set an appointment for an evaluation of your child's teeth positioning and jaw structure. You'll learn what the options are and the best course of action for your youngster's orthodontic health.
I have never liked my teeth. I had a lot of dental problems, including deep staining and oddly shaped teeth. Every tooth did not have the same shape, and some were rounded while others were more square. Not surprisingly, I never smiled in pictures and not even much in real life. This left people thinking I was mean before they even met me. My dentist told me my best bet to improve the look of my smile was a set of porcelain dental veneers. He said they could make all my teeth white and the same shape. I said I wanted them without any hesitation, and we scheduled my procedures. I love my new teeth, and they really did change my life. I created this blog to help other people living with teeth they don't like realize that they do have options that can improve their smiles and their lives.