Every parent wants their child to be able to smile with confidence but for many that’s not the only reason to investigate orthodontics at an early age. While the average age for orthodontic treatment is around 12 years old, we at Lenz Orthodontics have a mission to focus on children 7 and up in order keep with the American Association of Orthodontics guidelines. Why 7 and up, you ask?
Early Orthodontic treatment has many benefits. An orthodontic consult at a young age can catch future issues and adjust for them before they become problems. Some of these issues include:
- Airway Obstruction: well developed airways allow normal breathing through the nose when the mouth is closed. While this may sound trivial, nasal breathing is important because it’s now known to be vital to good health. Airway obstruction has been linked to developmental delays, sleep disorders, behavioral disturbances, and later can lead to hypertension, stroke, heart disease and even premature death. These sound scary but the treatment is easy if we are able to catch it early on! Plus we all can relate to our little ones that struggle with allergies!
- Crossbites: by age 7 most children’s permanent molars and incisors have come in. A trained eye, like Dr. Lenz’s, can see early on if crowding or crossbites will be an issue as the rest of your child’s permanent teeth come in. The earlier treatment begins, the easier it will be. This is because your child’s jaw is less developed at this early age and can be guided along the right path rather than working to reverse issues at a later age.
- Overcrowding: Traditionally, orthodontists would say wait until age 11 or 12 to treat a crowding problem, but the problem won’t get any better by waiting. Early treatment has been proven to correct narrow arch and create space for adult teeth as well as for the tongue so it may function correctly when swallowing. Plus, early treatment can avoid the need for future tooth extraction or jaw surgery. BIG PLUS!
The benefits to Early Orthodontic treatment are clear:
- Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct any habits that can cause bad bite later on, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment. Speaking of…
- Two Phase Treatment. Phase 1 works with your young child to make space for their permanent teeth. Phase 2 begins once they’ve arrived. Often children who undergo Phase 1 treatment have a much shorter Phase 2. This makes life easier for both them and you as their schedules get busier and busier.
Not every 7 year old will need Phase One treatment, but if they do, and if it is caught early by a trained orthodontist, it could make a big difference in the outcome of treatment later. That’s because Dr. Lenz can take advantage of growth and possibly avoid extractions when working with a younger child.
Knowing the importance of early orthodontics is only part of the battle. Dr. Mark Lenz has 35 years of experience in orthodontic practice and thousands of beautiful smiles credited to his name. We call it the Lenz Smile!
Please click below to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation at one of our conveniently located offices (in Racine and Waterford). We are members of Delta Premier Dental and offer easy installment options. Click below to schedule your appointment today.
1558 South Green Bay Road
Racine, Wisconsin 53406
725 Cornerstone Crossing
Waterford, Wisconsin 53185