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July 1, 2016

Will My Child Need Braces? The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention

For parents across Canada, helping their children stay as healthy as possible is one of their top priorities in life. That means making sure your child has routine checkups at the dentist and doctor, as well as ensuring they get the care they need for illnesses like colds and flu. But there's another area of care that's often overlooked by parents of young kids – early orthodontic intervention. In fact, while most parents may not even begin to think about braces until their child is in the pre-teen years, the Canadian Orthodontic Association recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist by the time they're seven years old – or even earlier. Why so young? The reasons are actually pretty simple.

Visiting an Orthodontist by Age 7

Childhood is a time of rapid growth, and that means your child's teeth and jaws are developing at a fast pace. Visiting an orthodontist by age 7 for an evaluation and consultation means your orthodontist may be able to recommend “interceptive” procedures now that can reduce your child's need for orthodontic intervention later, decreasing the amount of time your child needs to wear braces, or in some cases eliminating the need entirely. That's great news for your child – and great news for your budget too. Plus, by age 7 the first adult teeth are usually getting ready to emerge, and acting now is the best way to ensure they're properly positioned.

What is interceptive orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics are procedures that can help guide the development of the jaw bones as well as the eruption and position of teeth that are still located below the gums. They're called interceptive treatments because they're designed to identify and “intercept” issues like crowding or problems with jaw growth that can lead to more significant issues later on. Palate expanders are a relatively common type of interceptive treatment, designed to gently widen the palate in children with very narrow mouth or small jaws. Widening the palate in early childhood enables it to widen during the natural growth phase so there's more room for adult teeth. When used in young children, expanders can help prevent crowding that results in crooked teeth.

But my child's baby teeth look straight.

Having straight baby teeth is no guarantee the adult teeth located below them will come in straight and evenly spaced. Adult teeth are larger than baby teeth and there are fewer of them – 20 baby teeth compared to 32 adult teeth – that's practically a “recipe” for crowding issues. The only way to predict how straight your child's adult teeth will be is to have an early evaluation.

Help your child enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth.

At Docbraces, we're a leading provider of orthodontic care for children, teens and adults in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. With locations in Halifax, Dartmouth, Amherst, Moncton, Charlottetown and Summerside, it's easy to ensure your child gets a head start on better oral health. To schedule your child's evaluation or to learn more about treatment options like Invisalign® and Invisalign® Teen, call us today at 1-866-639-7695.

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