Early Orthodontic Treatment
An Ounce of Prevention...
We are a very proactive orthodontic practice that firmly believes in early treatment when it is absolutely necessary. Early orthodontic treatment is started before all of the baby teeth have fallen out. We usually recommend early treatment in the following situations: to correct problems that are presently causing pain or damage to the teeth or gums; to correct problems that will become progressively worse over time, or to correct problems that are causing significant esthetic issues. When we perform early orthodontic treatment, we explain every step to each child and perform orthodontic adjustments with a gentle approach in a relaxing manner to ensure that kids feel at ease every step of the way! We believe in creating strong positive and fun experiences for children. As a result, lots of our younger patients look forward to their orthodontic visits!
IDEAL AGE FOR AN ORTHODONTIC CONSULT
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that an initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or by the age of 7. By this age, the teeth have developed enough to determine if any problems are developing. Orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but an examination can reveal a developing problem that can be treated more easily at an early age than at a later age after it has become more severe. By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. At this time we evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and look for problems. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
THE BEST TIME TO BEGIN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Though at Wilk & Wilk Orthodontics we can enhance a smile at any age, most orthodontic problems will have an ideal time to be corrected and this will depend on the type of problem and on growth and development. Some patients may benefit from treatment that starts before the baby teeth have fallen out while others may need treatment once all adult teeth have erupted. Beginning treatment at the optimal time will simplify treatment while ensuring the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.
THE BENEFITS OF EARLY TREATMENT
- Correcting the small problems while they're still small
- Maintaining or creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Guiding incoming adult teeth into proper positions
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma or injury to protruding front teeth
- Reducing the need for permanent tooth removal
- Correcting crossbites to promote more favorable growth and to prevent uneven tooth wear
- Correcting oral habits, such as thumb and finger sucking habits
- Minimizing the need for more complicated future treatment
- Reducing future treatment time with braces if they are needed
- Correcting esthetic problems that are affecting a child’s confidence level
- Correcting abnormal swallowing problems (tongue thrusts)
- Correcting anterior open bites (front teeth don’t touch) to prevent tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments