What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontics?

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What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontics?

Orthodontists and dentists in Legacy recommend that children see an orthodontist around the age of seven years old even if there aren’t any obvious orthodontic issues immediately apparent. Does that seem early to you? It is early, to be sure. But that’s the point. There are several benefits of taking advantage of early orthodontics near you. This article will introduce you to just a few of them.

Just because you don’t see any issues doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Perhaps the biggest benefit of early orthodontics near you is the opportunity to have a specialist take a look at your kid’s teeth to look for any subtle signs of lurking issues. Identifying potential issues and designing early interventions or setting up a watch-and-see regimen can avoid more complex – not to mention more expensive and stressful – issues later.

If there are any teeth or jaw alignment issues, having them addressed earlier can help to prevent damage to your child’s self-esteem. Should having crooked teeth undermine your child’s confidence and self-esteem? Of course not. But we all know that it can. No one looks forward to orthodontic treatment either, but getting started earlier helps to protect children from lost confidence and stigma earlier, too.

Alignment issues that affect your child’s jaw or teeth can affect their ability to learn to speak, too. By identifying and addressing alignment issues early, you may be able to minimize or avoid speech development issues that could otherwise require speech therapy or result in your child speaking with a lisp or struggling to pronounce sounds. Alignment issues can especially make pronouncing “S” and “T” sounds difficult. Have you noticed just how many words use the letters “S” and “T”?! You can help your child avoid those challenges by taking them to an orthodontist near you as early as possible.

Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean than straight and consistently spaced teeth. Unclean teeth are at an increased risk of developing plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Those teeth are more likely than clean teeth to develop. We have a hunch you know where this is going. Your pediatric or family dentist will do everything possible to keep your child’s teeth clean, healthy and cavity-free. If alignment issues are increasing the risk of tooth decay, though, you should get help from an orthodontist, too.

Teeth aside, your child will be healthier, too. It’s easy to overlook the fact that your teeth play an essential role in your child’s enjoyment of food, diet, digestion, health and fitness. If your child’s jaw and/or teeth are misaligned, that can make it harder for them to chew their food properly. That, in turn, puts additional strain on your child’s digestive system which can affect their overall health. In some cases, kids and parents even begin to avoid eating and serving healthy foods – crisp vegetables and chewy proteins, for example – because misaligned teeth make them particularly challenging. A kid who doesn’t get enough vegetables and proteins, though, is a potentially unhealthy kid. Seeing an orthodontist early can prevent that problem.

Does your child describe unusual, frequent and mystifying headaches, neck pain, jaw pain or face pain? A child’s pain complaints and behaviours can be hard to understand and investigate, but a surprising number of them can be traced back to one common source – teeth grinding that happens without the child (or her parents) even knowing it. One of the most common sources of teeth grinding (called bruxism) is misaligned teeth or jaws. If your child describes head, neck, jaw or face pain that doesn’t seem to have an explanation, ask your dentist to recommend an orthodontist.

If you have a young child who has yet to see an orthodontist, discuss these benefits with a dentist near you and ask them to recommend an orthodontist for your youngster.