The main objective of orthodontic treatment is ensuring correct alignment of the teeth for better oral health. Normally, it addresses abnormal bite and fix protruding, crowded or crooked teeth, so that you can eat and speak properly. The great thing about this treatment is you can have that smile you always wanted.
Standard orthodontic treatment may last for 18 months to two years, depending on the patient’s specific circumstances. At what age should treatment begin?
Children and Orthodontic Treatment
Dental professionals agree that children must undergo orthodontic screening around seven years old, as permanent teeth erupt between the ages of six and seven. During this time, orthodontic issues are likely to manifest. As the bones of young children are still developing, it’s the best time for a thorough assessment. This allows orthodontists to establish the type of treatment the child may require now or in later years.
The British Orthodontic Society also states that an estimated 72,300 children below 13 years old, and 128,500 children between the ages of 13 and 17 started orthodontic treatment between 2014 and 2015. According to an experienced orthodontist in North London, braces are effective when started early. Children make up the vast majority of orthodontic patients.
While there’s really no best age to start orthodontic treatment, majority of children with orthodontic issues must get treatment around 10 to 14 years old, as their head, mouth and permanent teeth are still developing. The specific time might depend on growth, as well as how fast a child’s teeth erupts.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Early intervention is crucial, especially for severe orthodontic issues. For instance, dentists may recommend a palatal expander to expand the upper dental arch of a child while the jaw is still developing. When the dental arch achieves the proper size, this provides space for permanent teeth to erupt in their proper position. Early intervention may also be practical in cases where a child’s jaw and dental arch are not positioned correctly, as functional appliances help improve or fix them.
No matter what orthodontic issues a child may have, early diagnosis and treatment are key. See your dentist to find out more about orthodontic treatment for the young.