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Early Orthodontics

The Benefits of Seeing an Orthodontist by Age 8

September 2nd, 2021

Much like laundry, orthodontic health can be more manageable if you get ahead of it.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 8 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. And it may help you avoid more costly or more invasive treatments down the road.

How so?

Palatal expander – Your child may be a good candidate for palatal expansion, which can make the upper jaw wider and help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Ideally, a palatal expander is used when a patient is still growing. Expansion occurs when the growth plate or suture in the middle of the palate is stretched and the two halves are pushed apart. As the two halves are spread, new bone is added.

In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. Cases not corrected in growing patients may require surgery for correction in adulthood and may lead to abnormal wear or bite problems if not corrected at all.

Early interceptive treatment–Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early on to prevent larger problems later.  An example of interceptive treatment is correcting an anterior cross bite or severe crowding or severe buck teeth.

Tooth removal – Sometimes removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth emerge better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position even without an orthodontic appliance. Dr. Holt will suggest the best time for extractions to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Getting them into the orthodontist early allows you to receive the optimum treatment for them.

Not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment

One of three things could happen following your child’s first appointment at Holt Orthodontics. 

  • There may be no need for treatment at that time. We are thrilled when we can pat the kiddo on the back and tell them they will go on observation for another year or so. 
  • Treatment may be necessary in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to develop.
  • A problem already exists that would benefit by early treatment, and you are in the right spot to get started!

Holt orthodontics offers free consultations, so there’s no reason to wait. We are very conservative and ONLY recommends treatment when it is clinically indicated and when it is the best time for your child.  Hope to meet you soon! :)