Orthodontic treatment isn’t reserved for teenagers and adults who have a full complement of adult teeth. Young children are also in need of orthodontic treatment to address minor bite and skeletal concerns that, if left unresolved, may result in more extensive treatment as a young adult.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that treats malocclusion (bad bite) by correcting deficiencies and abnormalities with jaw growth and tooth and arch alignment. Creating a beautiful smile is only one advantage of going through orthodontic treatment – addressing bite issues that are contributing to speech and chewing problems, facial asymmetry and tooth decay due to crowding and overlapping of teeth – not only immediately benefit a young child, but reduce the risk of further concerns down the road.
SW Calgary Dentist – Dr. Shairoz Meghji – believes that early orthodontic intervention can correct and prevent more serious bite issues as a child grows. Oral habits like thumb and finger sucking are associated with the development of a narrow upper arch, openbites and splayed top front teeth. These habits are also seen in young children who have become overly attached to the soothing effects thumb sucking provides – turning to it more out of habit than need. Orthodontics for children address oral habits that contribute to bite concerns – with specific appliances being available to stop thumb and finger sucking and correct narrow palate formation and poor tooth alignment.
Crowded and misaligned teeth not only affect a child’s self-esteem, but can make the essential act of brushing and flossing really tricky. Trying to manoeuvre a toothbrush across teeth that aren’t lined up is tough for the most experienced of brushers – now add chubby fingers and a really short attention span in to the mix and the result is frustration and a mouth that is only half clean. Using braces and appliances to unravel crowded teeth means that brushing and flossing becomes much easier – so there’s more chance it will happen – the desire to smile is increased and a child’s overall dental health has improved dramatically.
Crooked and crowded teeth are way more susceptible to decay due to food and plaque being trapped between teeth. Gum health is also compromised in a mouth with poor tooth alignment – with gum recession being a genuine concern in young mouths.
Orthodontics for Children can be invaluable – as young teeth and bone respond quickly and easily to orthodontic treatment – and establishing a healthy mouth and functional bite in a child’s early years will help promote a healthy mouth for life.