When people think of orthodontic treatment, they don’t necessarily associate it with young children. However, orthodontics are not just for teens and adults. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids have an initial orthodontic screening as early as age seven. Early screening allows the orthodontist to identify potential problems so that an appropriate treatment can begin at the right time. Dr. Joseph Kizior, your Western Springs, IL, orthodontist, provides early orthodontic screening and evaluation.
Early Orthodontic Problems
There are several problems the orthodontist checks for when conducting an early orthodontic screening. The presence of certain problems can be an indication of future orthodontic issues that will need to be corrected. Some of the problems an orthodontist will check for in young children between the ages of six and eight include:
- Excessive Spacing
- Open Bite
- Crossbite (in either the front or back teeth)
- Abnormal Tooth Eruption
Bad Habits that Cause Problems
Early orthodontic screening can identify problems caused by bad habits, such as thumb-sucking and mouth breathing. Thumb sucking that continues after the primary teeth have all come in can alter the growth patterns of the jaw, as well as lead to misalignment of the teeth. Breathing through the mouth regularly, rather than the nose, can result in changes in the muscular function of the face and tongue. Your Western Springs orthodontist can identify these problems and implement treatments to correct these bad habits before they cause long-term problems.
Goal of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic screening that identifies potential problems does not mean that orthodontic treatment will begin right away. In many cases, the orthodontist will monitor the growth patterns of your child’s teeth for a while until it is the appropriate time to begin treatment. Your orthodontist will monitor the basic alignment of the teeth as your child develops, as well as noting whether or not there will be sufficient room in the mouth for all the permanent teeth that will eventually emerge.
Early orthodontic screening and treatment allow your Western Springs, IL, orthodontist to carefully monitor your child’s development and watch for problems with tooth alignment. If any problems are observed, the orthodontist can prepare a treatment plan to be implemented at the right time, which might not be right away. For early orthodontic treatment in Western Springs, IL, call the office of Dr. Kizior at (708) 246-1000.