The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age seven or even earlier if a problem is detected by a parent, family dentist, or physician. “Early Treatment,” refers to orthodontic intervention in the mixed dentition, when primary or “baby” teeth are still present. Certain dental problems are more easily treated in the mixed dentition and can prevent more severe problems in the future. The goal of early treatment is to minimize or eliminate the need for a secondary or “finishing” stage of orthodontics. Orthodontists can improve smiles at any age, but early attention can often prevent future obstacles. Our office will gladly help any patient make an informed decision concerning the optimal time that his or her treatment should begin.
Common orthodontic problems that are often treated early, include, but are not limited to:
Anterior Crossbite, Often Referred to as an “Underbite”
Sometimes correction only involves the buildup of a small ramp on the lower anterior teeth. This gently guides the upper teeth forward.
A constricted or narrow upper arch, will sometimes cause the upper teeth to be locked behind the lower teeth.
Protrusive Front Teeth
Severely protrusive, or “buck teeth” are at increased risk for fracture if trauma occurs.
Crowding of the Anterior Permanent Teeth
Expansion of the upper jaw, during the mixed dentition can provide adequate room for the permanent teeth to erupt. In this case, no secondary stage orthodontics were needed because the permanent teeth had enough room to erupt ideally.
Sometimes teeth erupt outside of the arch, either closer to the cheek or to the tongue.