Frequently Asked Questions About Early Orthodontic Treatment

Concerned parents can benefit from early orthodontic treatment so that their children’s dental health is set on the right track for a lifetime.

Currently, your child’s oral cavity is similar to the foundation of a lifelong home. If it stands the test of time, it will thrive. If not, sooner or later, it will fall.

As a parent, you have two options at this pivotal moment:

Take a chance on your child’s oral health by letting Nature handle it, or Grab the opportunity to make their smile sparkle!

As part of early orthodontics, Dr. Lee detects and addresses your child’s current or future dental issues. His soothing words and fabled patience have helped countless children overcome their fear of orthodontics and embrace it with enthusiasm!  

You can plant the seeds of appreciation for timely dental care in your kid by starting them with orthodontic treatment at an early age!

As a parent, it will relieve your anxiety about:

  • Current dental issues
  • Future dental headaches
  • Unforeseen medical bills

“Lay the foundation of early orthodontics now, and your kids will reward you with dazzling smiles later!”

early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation

What is Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment?

A child may experience orthodontic issues before their permanent teeth fully develop, such as misalignments, supernumerary teeth, and significant gaps between their teeth. 

Through an interceptive orthodontic treatment, Dr. Lee prevents dental health issues from escalating into more complex and expensive treatments.

When assessments are conducted at an early stage, treatment can start at the most opportune time, increasing the likelihood of success.

early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation
early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation
early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation
early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation

Why Should My 7-Year-Old Child See an Orthodontist?

In accordance with the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic evaluations should begin when a child shows signs of dental health problems — no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but diligent examination can assist in determining the best time to begin.

Your child’s front and back teeth, as well as their upper and lower teeth, should be examined by Dr. Lee at the age of 7.

As your child’s teeth develop in the future, you will also be able to discern patterns. Emerging incisors, for example, can indicate possible issues such as overcrowding, overbites, and gummy smiles. Also, certain treatments, such as expansion and jaw development, are more effective at a young age. 

Early evaluations ensure that treatment commences at the right stage while predicting the best results!

What are the Most Common Dental Issues in Children?

Many oral health issues associated with young ages can be addressed with interceptive orthodontic treatment, such as:

  • Crossbites
  • Underbites
  • Missing teeth
  • Extra teeth
  • Teeth that don’t meet
  • Teeth that meet abnormally
  • Crowding
  • Excessive spacing between teeth

Correcting these dental problems becomes increasingly difficult the longer you put them on hold. Conversely, prompt action calls for minimal treatment with maximum results!

What are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Evaluation?

An early evaluation can identify potential issues and increase the chances of effective treatment.

At Loudoun Orthodontics, we use interceptive orthodontic treatments to:

  • Protect protruding teeth from injury
  • Make sure there is enough space for permanent teeth
  • Enhance facial symmetry
  • Assist adult teeth in growing into their correct positions
  • Improve how the lips meet
  • Improve chewing and speech abilities
  • Keep your child’s teeth healthy by preventing cavities and grinding your teeth
  • Minimize time and money expenditure

Oral habits that may manifest into significant dental problems in the future can also be highlighted by a thorough dental examination. An orthodontic expert trained in interceptive treatment can recognize these early signs, even if they are something as simple as grinding your child’s teeth while sleeping!

“As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’”

early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation
early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation

What are the 3 Types of Interceptive Orthodontics?

Palatal Expanders for Proper Jaw Growth

The palatal expander is the most commonly used device in early orthodontic treatment.

When a narrow upper palate remains untreated, it can result in overcrowded teeth and various orthodontic problems. Some children’s upper teeth will not be able to erupt due to insufficient space.

In orthodontics, the palatal expander broadens the palate before the upper jaw bones fuse after puberty. Its two halves are connected by a screw and gently spread apart the jaw bones, making it easier for permanent teeth to emerge. The opening is then filled with new bone cells, facilitating the expansion process without creating discomfort.

Once your child has worn the palatal expander for 6-12 months, Dr. Lee will determine if tooth extraction is still necessary.

Space Maintainers Preserve the Space Required for Tooth Eruption

It’s great news if your child has plenty of room for their permanent teeth, but maintaining that space may require some assistance. 

This is where space maintainers come into play!

Space maintainers ensure that the adult teeth have enough room to break through. Dr. Lee utilizes space maintainers to prevent adjacent teeth from encroaching into the space left behind by a baby tooth that has fallen out prematurely or has been extracted. 

By using this approach, the permanent tooth will emerge in its destined position, avoiding any overcrowding problems.

Baby Tooth Extraction for Permanent Tooth Eruption

In most cases, baby teeth should fall out around the age of 7. They are only temporary placeholders until the permanent teeth come in. 

But if a baby tooth stubbornly refuses to fall out, what should be done? 

Baby teeth, particularly canines, can obstruct the emergence of permanent teeth the longer they remain, leading to complex orthodontic issues.

Dr. Lee utilizes X-ray technology in order to predict future impactions of your child’s canines. He may recommend tooth extraction as a solution.

early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation

Does My Child Need to Wear Braces?

An early orthodontic assessment does not mean your child will need braces right away. It simply helps Dr. Lee monitor your child’s progress so that he can begin braces or any other orthodontic treatment at the optimal time.

If your child does require braces at this age, they will likely wear “pediatric” or “interceptive” braces, which guide the jaw and incoming permanent teeth into their correct position.

A child’s dental development is unique, and while some may benefit from early intervention, others may be better off waiting until more of their permanent teeth have erupted. The decision should be made in consultation with Dr. Lee after he has assessed the specific needs of your child.

Are Braces Cheaper for a Child Than an Adult?

Children who receive early orthodontic intervention will avoid more serious orthodontic issues later in life, potentially saving time, discomfort, and money.

The severity of the dental issue, the type of braces used, the length of treatment, and the orthodontist’s fees all affect the cost of braces.

The less severe orthodontic cases typically fall on the lower end of the price spectrum, while the more complex ones (more prevalent in adults due to neglected issues from childhood) fall on the higher end.

Dental insurance coverage can also be a financial consideration. For patients under 18, braces are covered by some insurance plans, but for adults, they are not covered unless they are considered medically necessary. Check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you have.

early orthodontic treatment,early treatment,early evaluation,early orthodontic evaluation