Early Treatment

Best time to begin orthodontics.

Earlwood Orthodontics can enhance a smile at any age but there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, what we know as Early Treatment. Beginning treatment during this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that an initial orthodontic evaluation occurs at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to commence treatment.

Benefits of early orthodontic evaluation.

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Age 7 is considered the optimal time for screening.

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

Advantages of interceptive treatment.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth.
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth.
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
  • Preserving space for expected teeth.
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal.
  • Reducing treatment time with braces.

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile. Orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

According to studies by the Australian Society of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Cross bites can result in unfavourable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make the perfect smile, it creates a healthier you.

Call us on (02) 8426 9000 for an initial consultation and we will determine the best time for treatment, outlining the treatment plan, the treatment duration and the approximate cost for the treatment.

Early orthodontic treatment at Earlwood Orthodontics is an important part of our practice. Dr Jimenez will check how your child’s teeth and jaws are developing and will follow up with complimentary check-ups as part of our family-oriented orthodontic service. Dr Jimenez will be able to let you know if early intervention is needed and when the time is right to start orthodontic treatment. Early orthodontic treatment can correct problems while the child is still growing and may prevent surgery, extractions, impacted teeth and other complications. Early intervention includes sectional braces, functional appliances, expanders, headgear and Invisalign.

Read our FAQs to know more about early orthodontic treatment and how it can help your child achieve their best smile.

FAQs

What is early orthodontic treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment is orthodontic treatment performed while baby teeth are still present, when a child is 8-10 years old.

The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate or control the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones and provide adequate space for new adult teeth.  It may involve correcting the size  of the child’s jaws, early removal of particular baby teeth, moving specific teeth to prevent further damage, maintain space available, etc.

Early treatment not always prevents the need for braces, but it will facilitate later treatment if it was required. Early monitoring a child’s teeth and jaws helps the orthodontist identify the best time to start orthodontic treatment for kids.

When is the best time for an orthodontic evaluation?

The Australian Association of Orthodontist recommends the first orthodontic check-up as soon as the problem is identified and no later than the age of 8 years old. There are generally three possible recommendations from the initial check-up:

  1. No treatment necessary but will continue to monitor growth and development.
  2. Treatment may be needed in the future but further development is required before intervention.
  3. Early treatment is required.
Who is a candidate for early orthodontic treatment?

The kind of problems that require early intervention include:

  1. Early loss of baby teeth,
  2. Delayed eruption of adult teeth
  3. Protruding teeth front teeth
  4. Underbite
  5. Front teeth not meeting at all when biting down
  6. Crowded and misplaced teeth,
  7. Narrow jaws,  jaw shifts and crossbites
  8. Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion
  9. Extra and missing teeth
  10. Atypical eruption
  11. Tongue sucking habit beyond the age of 5.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic treatment?

During early childhood, the kid’s jaws are still growing and they are quite malleable and corrective procedures are more effective and stable in the long term. Certain therapies are not as effective in teenage years as they rely on sutures being able to react to orthodontic forces.

Early orthodontic treatment aims to achieve the following:

  1. Making enough room for teeth to come through without crowding
  2. Helping the jaw to grow properly
  3. Making protruding front teeth less vulnerable to damage
  4. Reducing the risk of having teeth removed later on
  5. Simplify future orthodontic treatment
  6. Reducing the amount of time braces are needed

Early intervention often means future orthodontic treatment will be more straightforward and possibly shorter treatment time.

Want to know more?

To find out how early orthodontic treatment may be beneficial to your child, contact us today.