It is recommended by the Australian Society of Orthodontists that all children are examined by an Orthodontist no later than age 7. This allows a greater opportunity for effective treatment with early identification of potential problems of the teeth and jaws. If timed correctly growth and development can be modified avoiding more serious problems arising at a later time. Interceptive treatment also guides permanent teeth into the correct position as they erupt.
If early treatment is indicated it is usually followed by a rest period while all permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Comprehensive treatment can then be started to fully align the teeth and improve your smile at a later age.
If there is no need for early intervention the careful monitoring of the pattern of growth and eruption of teeth assists in identifying the ideal time to commence treatment.
Some specific goals of early treatment include:
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Improve facial symmetry
- Creating space for crowded/displaced erupting permanent teeth
- Hold space for unerupted permanent teeth
- Decrease the need for permanent tooth extraction in the future
- Reduce the time and complexity of treatment at a later age
- Enhance self-esteem
- Intervene harmful oral habits (e.g. thumb sucking)
- Improve some speech problems
- Eliminate crossbites of either front or back teeth