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Do kids really need orthodontics?

Do kids really need orthodontics?

Even young children sometimes experience issues that can be helped by orthodontic treatment. Our SmileTown North Delta dentists discuss how important early detection is to children's orthodontic health.  

Some parents are surprised to find out that orthodontics has a role to play in the health of even young children.

If our team at SmileTown North Delta identifies an orthodontic problem in your child early on, we can recommend minor corrective options or refer you to an orthodontist if required.

Ideally, misalignment between teeth and orthodontic issues are diagnosed and treated before they fully develop. This is called interceptive orthodontics and can help guide children's teeth into their proper positions as they grow - preferable to fixing problems later. 

The Key to Successful Treatment: Early Detection

In the past, orthodontists did not typically start treating orthodontic issues until children reached the ages of 12 to 14, when permanent teeth are already emerging.

Dentists also once commonly recommended tooth extraction to create space for the final phase of tooth movement and to correct bite issues.

But with the advancement of orthodontic knowledge, interceptive orthodontics has allowed us to treat children at a much earlier age (typically between 7 and 11 years) and use a child’s continuing growth to our advantage.

Similar to most other oral health problems, early detection is key to successful orthodontic treatment outcomes. When our orthodontists are able to assess children's orthodontic issues early, we sometimes discover developmental issues that require interceptive orthodontic treatment. These specific issues can include:

  • Teeth crowding
  • Constricted plate, which causes misalignment of back teeth (also referred to as crossbite)
  • Uneven jaw development

While still enabling us to expand the jaw to create space for crowded teeth, influence jaw growth to improve facial symmetry and reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth, this type of treatment also helps us avoid the need for tooth extraction.

While invasive treatment such as extraction may resolve one orthodontic issue, it’s also a measure that can have unintended long-term negative consequences, such as misalignment. In addition, interceptive treatment can also help reduce treatment time as your child enters their teen years.

No matter your child’s dental issue or orthodontic problem, our team at SmileTown North Delta can perform an early evaluation to help determine whether your child is a candidate for orthodontic treatment.

We can also help you navigate orthodontic treatment options (which may include interceptive braces, oral appliances or Invisalign First orthodontic aligners), explain the impact they’ll have on your child’s smile in the short-term and long-term and assist you in making a well-informed decision.

Do you have questions about your child's orthodontic health or their treatment options? Contact our dentists at Smile Town North Delta today!

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