We often think about starting orthodontic care in the teen and adult years. However, we also have the ability and treatment options to begin improving alignment and guiding smile growth at a much younger age. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist will explain when you should bring your child in for an appointment.
When to Schedule a Visit
The best time to correct misalignment, or to start the process, is before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. At a younger age, the jaw is still growing and developing, which makes guiding this development and improving alignment a much easier process. The American Association of Orthodontists suggest a visit at around age seven. By this point, the baby teeth have all erupted, and some have fallen out to make room for permanent ones. We have an easier time assessing the potential extent of misalignment, and we can create a personalized treatment plan. The process then leaves plenty of room for permanent teeth to arrive, and helps limit the risk of misalignment. Even teeth have also been shown to lower the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ disorder, bruxism, and sleep apnea in adulthood.
The Interceptive Approach
We start with an initial consultation, in which we thoroughly examine the teeth by using digital technology. We gain a picture of the causes of poor alignment, and how the smile could develop without treatment. We then start interceptive, or phased, treatment. Initially, we may suggest teeth spacers or retainers, which help guide the growth of the jaw and oral structures, improving the overall balance and alignment of the smile with time.
Continuing Treatment in the Teen Years
Treatment then continues in the teen years. At this point, the use of interceptive orthodontics means a reduced amount of time your teen will need to wear braces or clear Invisalign® aligners. The treatment is then completed, and your child enters adulthood with a better smile, both in appearance and health. Remember, we often use tooth-colored brackets to limit the visibility of braces, and we can create aligners that are clear and barely visible. If you have any questions about treating misalignment in childhood, or about care for teens and adults, then contact our team today. We want to help people in our community obtain smiles they can feel proud of!
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILDREN’S ORTHODONTICS?
We want to help your child start the journey to a better smile with custom orthodontic options, including retainers, aligners, and braces. To learn more about our approach to correcting alignment in little smiles, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Haslet, Azle, and all surrounding communities.