Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children
Early interventional orthodontic treatment focuses on prevention rather than correction. By creating a healthy space for adult teeth to grow, your child can avoid complicated orthodontics and extractions due to bite issues later.
All children are ready for their first pediatric orthodontist assessment when their upper central incisors start to emerge – ideally between ages six and seven. Prevention is key to ensuring healthy musculoskeletal growth in the jaw for future adult teeth. While all children should have an early orthodontic assessment, it is important to note that early intervention is necessary only when indicated and not in every patient.
What are the Benefits of Early Interventional Orthodontic Treatment in The Woodlands, TX?
Early orthodontics are essential for preventing complex bite issues in children. An orthodontist can identify subtle discrepancies and then employ techniques, appliances, and methods to assist proper jaw development.
The benefits of early interventional orthodontic treatment include:
- Guiding adult teeth to grow into a healthy position
- Encouraging a symmetrical appearance and self-esteem
- Avoiding painful and costly jaw surgery
- Eliminating the need for braces later OR
- Drastically reducing the invasiveness and length of time for braces
- Improving how the lips meet
- Correcting and avoiding trauma from bad habits like thumb sucking
How Can You Tell if Your Child Needs Early Orthodontics?
Parents can look for a few red flags that indicate it’s time for an early orthodontics assessment from a Board Certified Orthodontist in The Woodlands, Texas.
These warning signs are:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
Trouble chewing or biting
The jaw shifts or makes any noise like cracking or popping
Teeth grinding or clenching
An asymmetrical facial appearance
Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
Bad oral habits like pen and fingernail biting, or sucking of the finger, thumb, cheek or lower lip
Even if your child doesn’t exhibit any of the symptoms above, pediatric orthodontist Dr. Kendra Pratt can identify issues with baby teeth that indicate the need for early orthodontic treatment. Bite problems in baby teeth are often very subtle and even invisible to the untrained eye.
There are many bite problems that can develop, however, they can be fixed if caught in time. They include:
- Crowding problems
- Open bites
- Deep bites
- Spacing issues
What Does Early Orthodontic Treatment in The Woodlands, Texas Involve?
Early interventional orthodontic treatment is much different than standard orthodontic care.
Pediatric orthodontist Dr. Kendra Pratt in The Woodlands, TX won’t employ braces to correct teeth. Instead, her early orthodontic treatment focuses on preventing adult bite issues by creating a proper environment with enough space for teeth to grow.
Treatment varies based on your child’s needs, but it might include Habit Appliances to:
- Gradually move teeth
- Expand the jaw
- Properly align jaw position
- Maintain space for the adult dentition
Children orthodontist Dr. Pratt might also perform strategic extractions of baby teeth as-needed to assist erupting permanent teeth.
Contact Dr. Kendra Pratt Pediatric Orthodontist Today
Six or seven might seem young for orthodontic care but prevention is always the best treatment.
In many cases, children won’t require any early orthodontic treatment. Nevertheless, regular assessments from Dr. Kendra Pratt can provide a barometer for oral development and keep an eye on minor issues as your child grows.
If you have any questions about early orthodontics, contact Dr. Kendra Pratt’s office in The Woodlands, TX today, schedule a free consultation, or give us a call at 281-367-0050 (Woodlands) or 936-596-1200 (Montgomery).