Early Interceptive Orthodontics
Don’t Wait – Early Treatment Is Critical
A Proactive Philosophy
When children are young, their bodies are able to adjust and mold easily, particularly in their mouths and their bone structure. Crowded teeth may force the tongue forward against their teeth, narrowing their dental arch and constricting the airway, which causes them to be unable to breathe properly through their nose. When your jaw is not aligning correctly, it also affects the face. We often see eyes that are not at the same height; we see one ear sticks out and the other does not; we can see that one side of the face is tighter than other side, affecting the jaw joint and facial tension.
Many parents ask us when the right time is to start thinking about orthodontic treatment for their children. At Arlington Smile Center, we start our evaluation of your children’s dental alignment and oral habits at age three and monitor closely every six months. A common approach to teeth straightening is to wait until children are mature enough to handle the responsibility. Dr. Roca used to feel this way. But now, we’ve seen how a proactive approach can lead to far better long-term results. Thanks to a lot of research and many classes, Dr. Roca discovered that one can prepare the mouth to receive the permanent teeth by giving enough room for them to erupt. At Arlington Smile Center, we never want to wait until the child turns seven. If Dr. Roca sees a child as young as three years old developing a malocclusion or myriad other concerns like mouth breathing, snoring, grinding, hanging out with their mouth open, or tongue thrusting, or if she detects a tongue-tie or lip-tie, she will highly recommend the child learn the correct habits for proper muscle development. This will enable ideal facial development before the permanent teeth come in, normally around age five or six. By starting early, you are allowing room for the developing teeth that are growing under the baby teeth to spread out in the jaw. Since permanent teeth grow directly under the baby teeth, if the baby teeth are spread out, the permanent teeth will be spread out as well to erupt in a non- crowded position.
Benefits of early screening and orthodontic treatment include:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing the need for future orthodontic treatment
- Increasing space, for nose breathing and airway space which opens up myriad improvements in many aspects of medical health