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Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for preteens and teenagers; the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. Early assessments allow orthodontists to identify and potentially treat malocclusions and facial irregularities at an appropriate time, even though not all evaluations lead to immediate treatment.

Identifying Orthodontic Irregularities in Children
Orthodontic issues may only sometimes be apparent with a professional assessment. These issues often stem from genetics but can be influenced by external factors like diet, oral hygiene, and habits such as thumb sucking. Signs to watch for include:

  • Persistent finger or thumb sucking
  • Difficulties with chewing or biting
  • Misaligned teeth or jaws
  • Disproportionate jaw size
  • Jaws that click, shift, or make noise
  • Abnormal loss or retention of baby teeth

Early Orthodontic Intervention Types
Early orthodontic interventions, categorized into preventive, interceptive, and comprehensive treatments, aim to address and prevent future dental problems.

  • Preventive Treatments: Focus on preventing malocclusion in typically developing mouths, possibly involving removing baby teeth to make room for adult teeth or using space maintainers to reserve space for new teeth.
  • Interceptive Treatments: Manage teeth and jaw size, remove over-retained baby teeth, and create space for adult teeth to reduce the severity of developing issues.
  • Comprehensive Treatments: Tackle significant alignment or growth irregularities, potentially combining orthodontic work with jaw surgery, tooth extractions, or restorative procedures. These treatments can start before all baby teeth are lost and may require multiple phases for maximum effectiveness.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.