Early Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontics is the area of dentistry focused on diagnosing, treating, and preventing the misalignment of the jaw and teeth. The team of orthodontic experts here at Gross Orthodontics help treat misaligned bites, crooked teeth, and other related issues. While we do often provide our teen and adult patients with orthodontic care, it is always best to begin treating any dental issue as early as possible. By doing an early orthodontic assessment, we can often learn about the challenges a patient may face and begin taking steps to correct them.
What is an Early Orthodontic Assessment?
When one of our young patients begins to get their adult teeth, we will often do an early orthodontic assessment to determine if the teeth are coming in correctly. We may also do one of these assessments if we see signs of an overbite or an underbite developing. During this assessment, we will look for signs that the patient’s mouth is too small for their adult teeth, leading to overcrowding, or if their teeth are coming in with too much space between them. Both of these issues can cause problems with cleaning their teeth and with protecting the gums from gingivitis.
What Does the Assessment Involve?
Typically, these assessments involve a visual examination. We may use a mirror, a small flashlight, and a few other tools to take measurements and to determine if teeth are coming in correctly. We may need to schedule x-rays or other scans, too, depending on what we find. If we do find something worrying, we will likely perform an orthodontic assessment each time we see the patient to see how things are progressing. By around age seven, we will begin orthodontic treatment to correct any issues we have discovered.
Who Needs Early Orthodontic Assessment?
Generally, we will do these early orthodontic assessments when a child is around age six. This is typically the earliest we can detect misaligned bites and issues with a patient’s adult teeth. We do recommend that all of our young patients get an orthodontic assessment at age seven, but if we see something that concerns us, we will perform an early assessment. At times, we may even do an early orthodontic assessment when a child is as young as five years old.
Why Do these Assessments?
While it is possible to treat many orthodontic conditions when a patient is older, it is easier to correct them at a young age. We can help guide a patient’s adult teeth into the proper position and adjust their jaw while it is still growing. This treatment is often easier on the patient and requires less invasive procedures. It can also be less costly and require less recovery time since younger patients are typically more resilient than older ones.
Does Your Child Need an Early Orthodontic Assessment?
If you have concerns about your child’s bite or believe that their teeth may not be coming in correctly, please give us a call or talk to us about it at your child’s next appointment. We can schedule them for an orthodontic assessment. Contact Gross Orthodontics at
915-751-7779 today to discuss your concerns.