Early Orthodontic Treatment

At The Braces Place, we understand the important role that a healthy smile can play in everyday life. With that being said, a great smile isn't something that just occurs overnight. It's something that needs to be worked on from day one. This includes daily oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and orthodontics as well. When it comes to the latter, we're glad to say that we have you covered! We hope you'll bring your child in to visit your Lexington orthodontist so that we can place him or her on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles!

When Should My Child First Visit an Orthodontist

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child's first visit to the orthodontist be at about the age of seven. This is a perfect age to visit the orthodontist because this is the time when the adult molars emerge and your orthodontist will have the first chance to examine the alignment of a child's teeth. We'll judge the front-to-back and side-to-side relationships of your child's teeth to check if there are any orthodontic problems.

An early screening doesn't always mean early treatment. Even if there's an orthodontic problem, there are many instances where we'll simply monitor your child's growth and development until we determine the most opportune time to begin treatment. This will let us have the best chance to achieve optimal results for your child's orthodontic treatment.

Problems That Early Treatment Can Correct

The major reason as to why early treatment is so effective is because a child's jaw hasn't fully developed yet. This makes it so that many orthodontic problems are much easier to treat. If you wait for too long, a more complicated treatment, or even surgery, might be needed in order to fix the problem. Some problems that early orthodontic treatment is capable of fixing include:

Severe Crossbites - This is a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. As your Lexington, SC orthodontist, we can treat this condition with a device known as a palatal expander. This device will gradually and painlessly widen the upper jaw.

Severe Crowding - Crowding occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of a patient's teeth. To help the adult teeth erupt properly, we will either perform tooth extraction or widen the patient's jaw with a palatal expander.

Severe Underbites - These are caused when the lower jaw grows a lot larger than the upper jaw, resulting in severe bite problems. Orthodontic appliances, such as braces and headgear, are the preferred methods of treating these problems.

Protruding Teeth - Teeth that protrude or stick out (especially front teeth) are more prone to getting chipped or fractured. Having protruding teeth can sometimes even create image problems with a child. Braces and headgear are preferred to correct this problem as well.

Bad Habits That Early Treatment Can Fix

In addition to fixing many orthodontic problems, early treatment is also beneficial in that it can curb bad oral habits of a child. Some habits can be detrimental toward the development and function of your child's mouth and teeth, which is why it's vital to stop these habits and soon as possible. Some of these bad habits that we can treat include:

Thumb Sucking - Thumb sucking is a natural reflex in most toddlers and babies, though it will usually go away on its own sometime between the ages of two to four. However, if this habit continues much longer afterward, the pushing of the thumb against the front teeth can make the teeth shift and the jaws change shape. This condition is known as an open bite, which can end up impairing speech.

Tongue Thrusting - This is a behavioral pattern where the tongue protrudes through the anterior incisors. Tongue thrusting can happen during speech, swallowing, or other activities. This can also lead to open bite.

Mouth Breathing - This is an abnormal breathing pattern where the mouth is always open while breathing and air passes straight through to the lungs. This can cause both the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally.

Visit Your Lexington Orthodontist For Early Treatment

If you're looking for Lexington, SC orthodontics, you've come to the right place! Feel free to give us a call at (803) 359-4480 if you'd like to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. We're looking forward to seeing you and your child!