Braces are typically associated with teens or adults looking to correct teeth and jaw misalignment. However, for many individuals the best time to see an orthodontist is in childhood.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children between the ages of 8-10 years visit an orthodontist for an assessment. Around 8 years old, your child has enough permanent teeth to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, and can allow the orthodontist to predict the development of the teeth.
An initial orthodontic assessment leads to one of 3 outcomes:
- No treatment is necessary
- Treatment may be required in the future, and follow up is recommended
- Early treatment is necessary to correct an orthodontic problem
Key characteristics to indicate early treatment for your child:
- Crowded, crooked or misplaced teeth
- Protruding front teeth
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Underbite or overbite
- Thumb Sucking beyond the age of 5
- Facial Imbalance
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Speech Impediment
- Mouth breathing
The benefits of early treatment are to:
- Guide the growth of the jaw to promote facial symmetry
- Create space for crowded teeth
- Reduce bad oral habits
- Prevent jaw/teeth development flaws
- Reduce future treatment time when braces are required
- Improve your child’s self-esteem
- Develop proper chewing and biting
Early treatment is a preventive measure which sets the foundation for the development of healthy teeth and gums.
Over half of Australians admit they would smile more if they had the perfect smile (Research by Australian Society of Orthodontics). To give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile, come and see Dr Mehta at Mehta Orthodontics.