An early assessment for orthodontic treatment for children will be beneficial to them. It can help prevent or minimize dental problems, especially when they start having permanent teeth. Early assessment can help determine if there is a need for preventive treatment, such as spacers, expanders, or limited braces for kids.
These dental appliances mitigate dental problems and create a treatment path that will correct teeth alignment while they’re young. Correct teeth alignment is important for jaw alignment; this is to prevent TMJ, leading to other problems like jaw pain, recurring headaches, and even back pain.
Early dental assessment and treatment have a wide range of benefits for your children.
Helps with Speech
Misaligned teeth can affect the movement of the tongue and lips. These parts of the mouth are the ones that work when speaking and making the sound of words. An overbite can cause a child’s upper lip to protrude and affect their ability to close their mouth and make proper consonant sounds that require the lips to be pressed together. Some examples of these sounds are B, P, and M.
While dental problems may not seem directly related to speech problems, the most common impairments like lisping, slurring, and mispronunciation of words are attributed to improper teeth and jaw alignment. This affects the tongue movement, affecting the child’s ability to produce voiceless consonants, typically F and S sounds.
Likewise, a misaligned bite due to misaligned teeth can also affect their ability to form proper vowel sounds and affect their overall speech quality. Early orthodontic assessment can help determine the necessary orthodontic treatment and correct the cause of speech impairment.
Guides Permanent Teeth
Echoing the point mentioned above, early orthodontic assessment and treatment can improve the relationship between the upper teeth, lower teeth, and jaws. There are certain orthodontic treatments designed for children to fix the meeting of the lower and upper teeth when they close the jaw.
Aside from that, early treatment for crowded teeth can help make proper space for permanent teeth to grow. Early correction can reduce the amount of future orthodontic treatment needed compared to when treatment is started late.
It also helps kids feel more confident, as they don’t worry about the way their teeth look, especially during their teen years.
Prevents Digestive Problems
When a child’s teeth are misaligned, they might have a problem chewing their food properly. As we know, chewing breaks down food into smaller bits, which not only prevents choking on food but also allows for proper food digestion.
Proper food digestion is key to the proper absorption of food nutrients, which is needed by the body to function properly and stay healthy.
Aside from that, children who cannot digest their food properly may also complain about frequent tummy aches and feeling tired. Proper teeth alignment helps resolve this problem and make eating more comfortable and enjoyable for children.
Prevents Tooth Grinding
Adults with misaligned teeth tend to grind their teeth. This condition is due to the misalignment of the jaw. This can lead to various problems, especially when it often occurs, such as tooth damage and tensing of the jaw muscles leading to headaches and even back pains: TMJ.
Because teeth grinding happens during sleep, it’s more difficult to detect and attribute the cause of headaches and jaw pains to it. If you or your child are suffering from headaches, back pains, or jaw discomfort and none of the prescribed treatments have worked, it would be best to visit an orthodontist to determine if your problem is dental-related.
The Importance of Early Treatment
The main goal of early orthodontic treatment is to ensure proper teeth and jaw alignment. By having straight teeth and proper jaw alignment, you can expect a huge improvement in your child’s oral health.
Having straight teeth means all tooth surfaces can be brushed and cleaned properly, so fixing crowded teeth is essential in preventing tooth decay, bad breath, and even mouth sores caused by an incorrect bite.
Early orthodontic treatment can prevent other health issues from developing due to jaw misalignment, like frequent headaches and back pains which can cause debilitating pain when left untreated and becomes chronic.
On top of that, a straight and healthy set of teeth makes your child feel more confident with their smile, their speech, and their ability to speak in front of people. A great set of straight teeth helps improve facial balance. It also keeps the tongue resting in the right place, which is essential in developing the facial bones and structure.
Aside from helping your child look good and feel more confident, proper orthodontic care can also improve their health. To ensure that your child gets the best oral health, as well as physical health, it would be a good idea to consult an orthodontist as early as age 7.
This will prevent future dental problems and help them get the best dental care as they get older. This will also establish the importance of oral health while young, which will be extremely beneficial to them when they become adults. And their future selves will thank you for helping them establish this healthy habit early in their lives.