What’s the Purpose of Early Orthodontic Treatment?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! To celebrate, our orthodontists want to help parents understand the purpose of early orthodontic treatment

The sole purpose of early orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy environment for permanent teeth to erupt (AAO). Your child’s baby teeth are temporary placeholders for their permanent teeth so it’s important they’re in healthy alignment and easy for you and your child to care for!

Now let’s talk all about early orthodontic treatment!

When to Start Orthodontic Treatment

Many parents think orthodontic treatment is just for teens. But you don’t have to wait until your child reaches their teen years to receive an orthodontic evaluation. In fact, the right time to see an orthodontist is at age 7! Getting an early orthodontic evaluation at this age can save your child from more complex orthodontic treatment in future; and save you money! How? Here’s just a few benefits of early orthodontic treatment or phase 1 treatment:

• Reduces the risk of tooth decay. Teeth in healthy alignment are easy to brush and floss! They also don’t provide extra hiding places for food particles to hide and fester. 

• Improves digestion. Teeth and jawbones in alignment allow your child to easily chew their food into smaller pieces—the ideal size for proper digestion!

• Reduces teeth grinding. Jaw misalignments can be the reason for your child’s nightly teeth grinding.

• Corrects bad mouth habits. Tongue-thrusting or thumb-sucking past age 4 can lead to complex orthodontic conditions such as open bite or a narrow palate. Early orthodontic treatment with an orthodontic appliance, braces, or Invisalign can quickly correct the damage from these mouth habits and help stop them! If you need tips on helping your child break their thumb-sucking habits, our pediatric dental partner can help too.

• Improves speech. Many parents think their child’s lisp or trouble pronouncing ‘S’ and ‘T’s stem from their age. But sometimes a jaw misalignment is the culprit!

• Reduces the risk of trauma (from protruding teeth). Around 6 or 7, many children are ready physically and mentally for sports. But if your child has an overbite, their risk of dental injury increases by 30%

• Shorter treatment length. The average orthodontic treatment time for kids is about 10 to 15 months. Whether our experienced orthodontists recommend braces or Invisalign for your child, their soft bones and short roots make aligning their teeth and jaw fast and efficient. 

What is Limited Orthodontic Treatment?

Sometimes full early orthodontic treatment isn’t needed! Through limited orthodontic treatment, it’s possible to address an orthodontic issue on just one tooth! Or even just a set of teeth. 

Dr. Guloy and Dr. Cetta are highly-trained to spot developing problematic orthodontic conditions. With limited orthodontic treatment, they can focus on the problematic tooth or teeth to quickly correct the issue before it begins to affect your child’s surrounding teeth. If they recommend limited orthodontic treatment for your child, it can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months.

Early Orthodontic Treatment Ensures a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit to your last appointment. 

If you’re searching for a top orthodontist in North Tampa, South Tampa, East Bradenton or Wesley Chapel, come meet our amazing team! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today. 

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