Early Teeth Straightening Treatments From an Orthodontist

Teeth Straightening Long Beach, CA

Teeth straightening is a process that should start at an early age, while the jawbone is still growing and therefore easier to shape. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should go in for their first orthodontic screening when they are seven years old.

At this age, the child should have lost many of their baby teeth. A few of their permanent teeth should also be growing into the gaps left by the milk teeth. This is the perfect time for an orthodontist to check if the permanent teeth will align properly. The orthodontist will also check if the child's jaw is the correct shape, size, and position.

Signs that a patient needs orthodontic treatment

In some cases, a visit to the orthodontist happens after a dentist asks a parent to get an orthodontic screening for their child. In other cases, the caregiver may take their child directly to the orthodontist after observing any of the following signs:

  • Permanent teeth that grow over milk teeth
  • Crowded teeth or gapped teeth
  • A pronounced overbite, underbite, or crossbite
  • Teeth that do not meet
  • Difficulty when eating or speaking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Protruding teeth
  • Milk teeth that fall out too early or too late

These are all signs that the young child needs orthodontic treatment, which starts with a thorough exam by an orthodontist. They will begin with a visual exam and ask the child and the parent questions. These questions will help determine if the child sucks their thumb or whether they used a pacifier for a long time, for example. If a permanent tooth has grown over a milk tooth, the orthodontist will ask whether the milk tooth became loose or not. They will also take X-rays of the teeth and jaw to see the extent of the malocclusion.

Early orthodontic treatments and teeth straightening

After performing the exam, an orthodontist will devise a tailor-made treatment plan based on the patient's unique situation. They may choose one or more of the following options:

  • In some cases, the orthodontist may opt to delay treatment and monitor the situation; they may choose this approach in the case of a child who needs their bite corrected with braces but still has milk teeth that need to fall out
  • They may treat a severe crossbite or severe crowding with a palatal expander, which is meant to reshape and widen a narrow jaw
  • They may use orthodontic appliances like braces or headgear to fix protruding, crowded, gapped, or otherwise misaligned teeth
  • In some cases, an orthodontist will extract one or more teeth to correct overcrowding

It is a good idea to correct problems with the jaw and teeth before the jawbone hardens with age. This way, the treatment will work faster and yield better results. 

Frequently asked questions about early teeth straightening treatments performed by orthodontists

Many parents believe that their child needs early teeth straightening treatments. Let us go over a few frequently asked questions.

1. Why is it important to see an orthodontist for early teeth straightening treatments?

An orthodontist is a specialist trained in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists use braces, retainers, and other appliances to align teeth and the jaw to improve the smile's function and appearance.

Early teeth straightening treatments are vital because they help prevent more serious problems from developing later. For example, teeth that are not properly aligned can lead to difficulty chewing or speaking. In addition, misaligned teeth are also more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

2. What are a few of the most common early teeth straightening treatments performed by orthodontists?

The most common early teeth straightening treatments performed by orthodontists include the use of braces, retainers, and other appliances. Braces are the most common type of treatment used to align the teeth. They work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth over time to gradually move them into their proper position.

Retainers are another common type of treatment used to align teeth. They hold the teeth in their new positions after braces are removed.

Other appliances used in early teeth straightening treatments include palatal expanders and headgear. Palatal expanders are devices placed on the mouth's roof to help widen it. Headgear is a type of appliance worn around the head and neck to help position the teeth and jaws.

3. How long do early teeth straightening treatments usually take?

The length of time that early teeth straightening treatments will take depends on the individual case. In general, most treatments take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

Ready to get started?

If your child has a bite that could use correcting, call or visit us to learn what our orthodontist recommends.

Request an appointment here: https://paramountdentalspecialty.com or call Paramount Dental Care & Specialty at 5624501261 for an appointment in our Long Beach office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Straightening in Long Beach, CA.

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