The benefits of early orthodontic treatment
Most parents try to make sure their children follow the best oral hygiene regime possible, from as early as possible. Teaching your kids how and when to brush their teeth would rank highly in any top guide on how to parent well. But what if you notice signs such as bad bites, crooked teeth or a thumb-sucking habit in your child? What do you do then? How do you help and at what age should orthodontic treatment begin?
Let us talk you through some common questions about early orthodontic treatment.
At Park Lane Orthodontics, we often get enquiries from anxious parents believing the earlier their children get braces, the better the result, as teeth are easily ‘movable’ at a young age. This is not true. In most cases, it’s better to wait until your child has lost all their baby teeth. This is so they don’t need orthodontic treatment and braces for a second time once their jaw has finished growing.
Another widespread misconception is that braces only repair crooked teeth. Braces are not just for straightening misaligned teeth, they also help fix a misaligned jaw or malocclusion, including overbites, underbites or crossbites.
Many parents assume their children don’t need braces at all. While this may be true, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some lucky children may not need any teeth or jaw alignment, while some may only need to wear expanders. Others may need braces or aligners. For peace of mind, we’d recommend an early consultation if you have any doubts or would like more advice from an orthodontic specialist in Reading.
When to start early orthodontic treatment
If you notice any of the following signs in your child, it’s time to book an early orthodontic consultation. Our specialists can provide you with all of the advice and guidance you need to make an informed decision about whether your child needs braces.
- Protruding Teeth
- Speech Problems
- Thumb Sucking Habit
- Crowded Teeth
- Crossbite, Overbite or Underbite
- Crooked Teeth
- Gapped Teeth
What are the early orthodontic treatment options for children?
Depending on your child’s requirement, our Reading orthodontist may prescribe braces, aligners or some other options to straighten your child’s teeth. Early orthodontic treatment options include:
Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign for kids and lingual braces are commonly used to straighten misaligned teeth.
The traditional braces feel more intrusive because of their structure and size. The metal wires gradually shift the teeth into their correct position. Ceramic clear braces are far less noticeable compared to metal braces because they’re made from a ceramic material and can be customised to match the colour of the patient’s teeth. Their function, however, is similar to that of metal braces. Lingual braces also work similarly to metal and ceramic braces, however, they’re fixed behind the teeth making them virtually invisible. Although more expensive compared to the other types of braces, lingual braces are popular with patients looking for a discrete type of brace.
An extremely popular choice for our patients, aligners such as Invisalign are one of the most advanced options for straightening crooked teeth. They’re customised to fit snugly on the teeth, are practically invisible and have no metal components. These features make the aligners extremely comfortable. They also offer the convenience of removing them while eating and brushing.
Other brace options
Retainers help retain the correct position of teeth once you’ve had your braces removed. They’re important because teeth can shift back to their original position even after they’re straightened. Wearing retainers after your child’s early orthodontic treatment helps build a strong foundation while your child grows and can rectify other issues such as bad bites and protruded teeth. This greatly reduces the need for extensive dental treatment in the later years.
For any further queries about early orthodontics or what age orthodontic treatment should begin, please get in touch. Call us on 0118 370 9475 to book your consultation.