Dr. Nadine Egger recommends that children see an orthodontist around age seven when their permanent teeth begin to emerge. At that age, they will have both baby and adult teeth, and Dr. Egger will be able to spot issues like crossbite, open bite, crowding and other alignment problems.
Early Treatment Is Better
An untrained eye can’t always spot dental problems, and that is why every child should have an orthodontic evaluation. A significant percentage of children have discrepancies with the teeth and jaws that can be easily corrected and problems avoided with early diagnosis. This can allow more normalized future growth and development. Not every child will need early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, we may recommend a wait-and-see approach, or holding off until a patient is older before beginning treatment.
When you bring your child for their first orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Egger is looking for missing baby and permanent teeth, teeth coming in the wrong direction, extra teeth, impacted teeth, crowding, jaw discrepancies, tongue thrust, thumb sucking/finger habit, mouth breathing, sleep apnea, grinding, protruding front teeth, damage to teeth and self-esteem enhancement.
If your child has orthodontic needs, Dr. Egger can intervene while their jaw is still growing and can be more easily corrected. Early Intervention guides growth and development, and can eliminate the need for extraction of permanent teeth, surgery, implants, treatment for TMJ, airway disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, and can significantly decrease the time or need for treatment later.
Orthodontic treatment isn’t limited to traditional metal braces, anymore, though we do offer an updated version of these that are sleeker and more subtle than ever before. Along with metal braces, our practice offers ceramic braces, and clear aligners from the Invisalign system.
Early Treatment May Use A Variety Of Appliances
By adding additional appliances along with the braces allows us to correct jaw growth discrepancies by altering jaw relationships using expanders, mandibular advancement, and protraction to the upper jaw.
Expanders: Correct crowding, crossbite, narrow upper jaws, and impacted teeth. They are used to widen the upper jaw. This process happens slowly but is complete in less than 4 to 6 months.
Mandibular Advancement: This feature moves the lower jaw forward to grow into the right position.
Protraction: A force to the upper jaw is worn at night to move the upper jaw forward if an underbite is present.
Correcting Bad Habits
Thumb sucking reflex is natural in early childhood and usually disappears between ages two and four. But if it persists much later, the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw can actually cause the teeth to become misaligned and the jaw to change shape. This can lead to the orthodontic problem called open bite and may also impair speech.
Dr. Egger can also diagnose other issues like tongue thrusting and mouth breathing that can adversely affect your child’s teeth. Various orthodontic treatments are available to help correct these habits and the sooner they’re taken care of, the less damage they may cause. These potential problems aren’t always easy to recognize. That’s one more reason why you should bring your child in for an early orthodontic screening.
We have a state-of-the-art in-house lab where we fabricate your custom orthodontic devices, like retainers, expanders, and lingual arches. You will receive your high-quality device without having to wait up to two weeks, plus we offer your first retainer for FREE and provide FREE retainer checks for life!
Early treatment gives your child the best chance for a healthy, beautiful smile for the future. Get in touch with us today to schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation!