While the most common orthodontic corrections simply involve straightening a patient’s teeth, there are other more intrusive orthodontic procedures used to fully fix someone’s smile like having teeth pulled. However, there are also ways to avoid having to take these measures. If you have young kids, you should make sure to take them to the orthodontist to see if they could benefit from early orthodontics.
Reasons Teeth May Need to Be Removed
Crowding is the most common reason people need orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign. It causes the teeth to grow in crooked and leads to other issues like tooth decay and bite problems. While crowding typically can be solved through treatment with braces, sometimes it’s severe enough to warrant tooth extraction. If the jaw simply doesn’t have enough room to accommodate all of the adult teeth, then sometimes a tooth, or multiple teeth, have to be removed.
Obviously, the preferred way of dealing with this problem is getting early intervention.
What Is Early Orthodontics?
Early orthodontics is a subset of orthodontics for young kids who can benefit from treatment before they have all of their adult teeth. When kids are around the age of seven, they should get evaluated to see if they need some form of early orthodontic treatment. This is because kids at this age are beginning to lose their baby teeth and any indicators of severe problems down the road will be easy to catch. Plus, it’s easier to shape jaw structure at this age since the bones are more malleable.
If any problems are discovered, the orthodontist will create a two-phase treatment plan and initiate phase one. The first phase of treatment will differ depending on the case, but the second phase generally involves braces or Invisalign.
How Early Orthodontics Can Help Avoid Having Teeth Pulled
One common form of early orthodontics a palatal expander. When the jaw doesn’t have enough space for all of the incoming permanent teeth, a palatal expander can create more room. This unobtrusive device uses steady pressure over a short period of time to expand the upper jaw. After this first phase of treatment, the child’s jaw will be larger and better able to accommodate more teeth, often eliminating the need to pull teeth.
In other cases, kids may be fitted with Invisalign First or partial braces. This will achieve the same effect for many kids, allowing teeth to erupt in a straighter position.
Whatever early treatment your kid ends up getting if they need early treatment, it will be well worth it later down the road. They will most likely still need braces or Invisalign later on, but this will be far better than having to get teeth extracted or having to deal with an extended time in braces.
If your child has some struggles breathing or eating properly, or if they didn’t kick their thumb-sucking habit when they reached the age of four, then they could be at risk of developing bite problems. Either way, it’s always a good idea to take your child to see an orthodontist at the age of seven to see if early orthodontics could be right for them.