Orthodontist « Pediatric and Children’s Dentistry
Parents are busy people, and making an appointment with an orthodontist for your kids is probably the last thing on your mind. But recent research by Scandinavian researchers suggests that orthodontic intervention in early childhood could be beneficial. As dental health experts have claimed for years, and are now being vindicated for, having an orthodontist check on your child’s teeth can reduce the requirement for treatments in the future, including expensive treatments such as Invisalign.
The Scandinavian researchers tracked a group of children up to the age of sixteen, starting from eight. They found that in the group that visited a children’s orthodontist during childhood, the percentage of the children who required further treatment was reduced from 33% to 9%. In total, this group of children experienced a 70% improvement in their oral health.
Needless to say, these children were saved from serious dental problems in later life, and probably experienced a better childhood and time in school. Even for those kids who still required treatment later, their treatment was curtailed in time, complexity and cost. Expensive surgery and Invisalign treatments essentially became unnecessary. And post-treatment, kids that saw an orthodontist early were less likely to have recurrence of symptoms. Of course, parents enjoy the thousands of dollars in savings associated with better clinical outcomes.
In addition, there are other benefits to early consultation and treatment. Kids that need speech therapy benefit more from it and require fewer sessions. We all know childhood teasing can be cruel; kids who get early treatment will have fewer self-esteem issues. This confidence carries over to later life and can have significant impact on opportunities and how they grow up to tackle challenges.
For early childhood treatment, the bulk of treatments belong to the prevention category, especially for the youngest patients under eight. Comprehensive oral assessments should reveal emerging problems that include teeth overcrowding and overbites.
Also, the specialist can spot bad habits and also prevent habits that could result in much more serious problems that require complex treatments in the future. Under the right circumstances, the specialist could extract a few teeth and institute some measures to reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of treatment later in life.
Provided there are no pre-existing conditions, parents should bring their children to an orthodontic specialist starting as early as six, perhaps seven. Misaligned teeth that protrude or jut can frequently be addressed from the ages of eight to ten. More serious overcrowding and overbites can receive attention at eleven or twelve. At the ages of thirteen through fifteen, treatments relating to congenitally missing teeth, a lower jaw that protrudes, or gaps between the two front teeth can be safely implemented.
Your child will benefit from an early consultation. If you choose not to bring your child to a specialist, treatment costs could skyrocket in the future, and your child may have to cope with all the inconveniences and difficulties of an adult procedure like Invisalign.