It seems that everywhere you turn, there lurks the potential for a scam. Whether you’re shopping on the internet, receiving your tax refund, or paying a bill, savvy individuals must stay vigilant in order to protect themselves from scams.
So, we get it when we hear parents questioning the use of orthodontics in young children. Is this just another scam? Why have a pediatric orthodontics office that treats children who haven’t even lost all their baby teeth yet?
It’s a legitimate question. Our Pediatric Dentistry in Lowell wants to arm you with all the facts so you can make a confident and informed decision for your own child’s orthodontic work.
When should I take my child into a pediatric orthodontics office?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children can begin at age 7. In very rare cases, treatment may be started earlier. Bring your child in for their first orthodontic examination between the ages of 7-10. Your dentist may recommend treatment begin towards the younger age of that spectrum if he or she notices extensive problems that must be addressed quickly.
Why would a young child actually need orthodontic work?
We hear it often…”My child hasn’t even lost all of her baby teeth! Why would she need braces?” While we certainly want you to know when orthodontic treatment is not necessary, we also want you to understand that there are some cases where a young child may need what is called phase one treatment.
Orthodontic work is divided into two phases, phase one and phase two. Phase one orthodontic treatment deals with major issues that will make the comprehensive orthodontic work easier to accomplish in the years to come. Phase two, also known as comprehensive orthodontics, works to actually make final teeth and jaw alignment changes that will last a lifetime.
Early orthodontic work in young children will normally only involve phase one treatment. This may be fixing major jaw alignment issues (extreme overbite, underbite or crossbite) or creating space for permanent teeth present or not-yet-erupted.
Find more information about the needs of pediatric dentistry orthodontics at kidshealth.org.
What issues will be addressed at such a young age?
Your pediatric orthodontist should be examining digital x-rays to ensure that all potential issues are addressed properly.
Again the main reasons for seeking out a pediatric orthodontics office for young children are as follows:
1) To accomplish the above goals (jaw alignment, creating space for permanent teeth) or
2) To align teeth for aesthetic purposes. Perhaps the child is involved in acting, modeling or a social situation that may dictate the need for straight teeth.
How do I know if the suggested treatment is actually necessary?
Many children will not even need phase one treatment. However, if they do, it will be obvious to you. Through clinical x-rays and your orthodontist’s thorough explanation, you should understand what the issues are and what steps need to be taken to fix it. It should not be a mystery to those involved.
And remember, phase one treatment is only used to fix alignment issues or crowded teeth. It is not common for young children to receive phase one treatment in order to simply straighten teeth (unless parent requested). If your child needs it, that will come later.
Keep in mind, though, if your child exhibits issues necessary for phase one treatment, it’s imperative that you fix those sooner rather than later. Ignoring them can lead to more problems and more extensive work required. Phase one treatment actually aids in saving time and money needed for later orthodontic work.
Orthodontics with Kangaroo Smiles
At Kangaroo Smiles, we respect your desire to protect your child and your finances. We know you don’t want to throw money into something that is unnecessary for your child’s overall health. That’s why we treat every diagnosis with extreme care and caution.
Dr. Mona Beylin gives each child a thorough examination, coupled with special x-rays, in order to determine if orthodontic treatment at an early age is necessary. She will take the time to explain the entire situation and make sure that you understand each oral issue and the proposed steps to fix it. Call our pediatric orthodontics office today to schedule your initial consultation. 978-425-1496