Why Early Treatment Matters To your Child’s Smile

Here at Wiesemann Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide families throughout South Central Kentucky and North Central Tennessee with beautiful smiles! Our expert team works with patients of all ages to achieve sensational results, including teens, adults, and children. People are sometimes surprised to learn that we treat young children since orthodontics is often associated with tweens and teens, but many young kids need help with their smiles, too! 

One way we’re able to identify and correct these issues in children is through early orthodontic evaluations. These visits are so valuable that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends every child has one by the time they’re about seven years old! An early evaluation allows orthodontists to spot and treat problems before they have the chance to develop into something more serious. This gets a child’s smile off to the best possible start! 

Do you have a child ready for their first orthodontic visit? When you schedule a complimentary consultation for your child with Dr. Wiesemann, he’ll be looking for anything out of the ordinary that may warrant further attention. If any issues are detected between the ages of 6-9, early treatment may be recommended. Let’s take a closer look at what that means for your child’s smile!

Interceptive orthodontics

Interceptive orthodontics, also known as Phase I orthodontics, is what we do when we initiate the right treatment for a young patient at the most optimal time. This proactive approach helps us create space for the proper development and eruption of a child’s permanent teeth. It can also enhance their jaw growth, giving them straighter teeth, a more symmetrical smile, and better oral health in general.

Why Early Treatment Matters To your Child's Smile

Who is a good fit for interceptive orthodontics?

Your child’s first visit with us will include a painless but thorough examination of their teeth and jaws. Interceptive orthodontics may be recommended if any of the following issues are present.

•    Your child appears to be prone to a problem we want to prevent.

•    Your child already has a developing problem that we now want to intercept.

•    Your child’s jawbones may need some guidance as they grow.

Orthodontic issues can occur for a variety of reasons. Some are genetic, while others may be acquired through injury, premature tooth loss, or harmful oral habits. There are a few developmental problems that may correct themselves as a child grows, while others will require immediate intervention. Whatever the underlying cause, a bad bite can affect the way your child’s smile looks, feels, and functions. The good news is, we can successfully address all of these concerns with interceptive orthodontics!

Examples of interceptive orthodontics?

Many parents worry that an early orthodontic evaluation will lead to immediate treatment for their child, but we recommend this for only a small percentage of the young children we see. Even if your child does require treatment, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll want to put braces on them right away. In fact, many Phase I treatments don’t use any brackets or wires at all! These include:

•    removing one or more of the primary teeth to guide the proper placement of the permanent teeth

•    using expanders to widen the upper jaw and provide space for very crowded teeth

•    placing teeth spacers to save a spot for permanent teeth if a primary tooth has been lost early due to injury or decay

Many of the orthodontic problems we treat in childhood can be corrected with relative ease by following a child’s typical dental growth and development patterns. That’s because their mouth is still developing, and they have a good mix of baby and adult teeth. Once a child’s jawbones stop growing around 16-18 years old, treatment can become more complex and may require more invasive procedures to achieve the same result.

Interceptive orthodontics helps us achieve lasting results for many of the issues we’ve discussed here. It can also lessen the impact of others! It should be noted, however, that most patients will still require a second phase of treatment with braces or aligners. This is what rounds out the total treatment process, producing a beautifully aligned smile they’ll be able to enjoy for many years to come!

Monitoring a child’s smile as they grow

Regular visits to the dentist are essential for keeping a child’s smile in good shape as they grow. But did you know that periodic evaluations with an orthodontist can also be an important tool for oral health? If no problems are found during your child’s initial evaluation with us, we’ll invite them to return regularly at no charge to you. Monitoring their smile as they continue to grow and develop has many benefits, including:

•    the detection of any hidden dental problems

•    a reduced need for jaw surgery later in life

•    the ability to guide emerging adult teeth into the ideal positions

•    a reduced risk of impacted teeth

•    a reduced need for tooth extractions in the future

Why Early Treatment Matters To your Child's Smile

Set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles with Wiesemann Orthodontics

If you need more convincing about the benefits of early evaluations and treatment, consider this: taking care of your child’s orthodontic issues now can help prevent more serious problems later on. This will save you time and money in the long run, while also giving your child’s smile the best possible start!

Is your young child ready for their first orthodontic evaluation? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wiesemann! We’re excited to help your child take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.