As a parent, you must wear many hats and know what is best for your child in every aspect of their life.
It is not easy for a parent to know when to start Orthodontic treatment for their children. There is a lot of information out there to navigate and understand.
As a parent, you might be confused because even if your child’s teeth look aligned in the front, the malocclusion may lay in the back teeth, something that is difficult to see with an untrained eye.
Dr. Firas Haj Ibrahim, our specialist orthodontist, advises:
It is a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7-8 years old. By that age children have enough permanent teeth that allow me to diagnose if there might be future problems. Early detection of potential orthodontic issues is key since in many cases the early diagnosis and prevention makes future treatment easier for the patient and the doctor.
If I detect a future problem, the age of the actual treatment can widely vary depending on each individual case.
For some rare cases, I might use the interceptive approach, which involves using dental appliances (not braces) at an early age. This will be the first phase of the treatment. Once the child has all adult teeth out, I will continue with the second phase (braces) if needed. The benefit of the first phase is big, usually, the second, braces phase, will be shorter and lighter treatment.
For most cases, I will start the treatment once all adult teeth erupt. Depending on each individual case the age might vary.
What is important to remember:
- Early detection is key, book the first consultation around ages 7-8.
- If necessary, return every 6 months for follow-up appointments to monitor the situation.
- An orthodontic consultation is different from a dental consultation, make sure to follow-up your child dental care with your regular dentist.
- Untreated orthodontic issues might contribute to tooth decay, gum diseases, tempo mandibular problems and loss of teeth.
- Crooked teeth can also affect a child and teen self-confidence.
- If left untreated, orthodontic problems do not go away, unfortunately, down the road, they will be more complicated and costly.
The bright line is:
- With early detection, the treatment will be done safely in shortest terms possible.
- Even if the treatment can be lengthy, you will give your child a smile for life.
- The greatest reward for a parent is a healthy smile of their child.