Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

Will early orthodontic treatment improve your child’s dental health? Dr. Petrunic certainly thinks so! At Petrunic Orthodontics, we see firsthand the profound impact that early treatment makes on kids in Prattville. Early treatment (sometimes called “phase 1 treatment”) sets kids up for success by helping their dental health. Our team takes a proactive approach to deal with orthodontic dilemmas before they happen. 

Understanding Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment (you might hear Dr. Petrunic say “phase 1” or “interceptive”) is dental care for kids between six and ten years old. We treat kids early to fix dental issues while their mouths are still growing. Early treatment can involve braces, spacers, or other appliances to correct your child’s alignment and bite problems. Phase 1 methods help find “bad bites” (or “malocclusions”) and get them on the right path before they get out of hand. 

Signs Your Child May Need Early Orthodontic Treatment

Here are some signs that can hint that your child might need phase 1 care. 

Crowded or Crooked Teeth

If your child’s teeth appear crowded or crooked, it might be time to see our team at Petrunic Orthodontics. Crowding happens when too many teeth gather too close together, and crooked teeth grow at odd or imbalanced angles. Both types can make brushing and flossing difficult for your child. However, addressing these issues early can help create space for your child’s permanent teeth to come in properly.

Bite Issues

Your child may suffer from bite issues and need early treatment if they suffer from: 

Overbite: upper teeth too far over bottom teeth. 

Underbite: lower teeth overlap upper teeth.

Crossbite: some upper teeth rest inside lower teeth. 

These bad bites are common reasons for phase 1 treatment. They can affect chewing, speaking, and even the overall appearance of your child’s smile. Correcting bite problems early can help avoid more complex treatments later. 

Thumb-sucking and Mouth-breathing

Habits like sucking the thumb or breathing through the mouth can lead to orthodontic problems. Persistent thumb-sucking can push your child’s teeth out of alignment. Mouth-breathing might indicate other issues like jaw development problems. These habits are easier to correct at a younger age. 

Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth

Losing baby teeth too early or too late can point to potential orthodontic issues. If your child’s baby teeth fall out too soon, their permanent teeth might not have enough space to come in correctly. On the other hand, if they stay too long, they can block new teeth.

Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment offers various benefits that can improve your child’s dental health and overall well-being.

Improved Bite and Function

Remember those bite issues we discussed above? Phase 1 treatment helps correct them! Fixing these problems early can make chewing and speaking easier for your child. How does it work? Dr. Petrunic focuses on proper jaw alignment. It’ll make your child more comfortable with how they look, and they’ll feel better, too. 

Better Oral Hygiene

Straightening teeth early means your child has an easier time brushing and flossing. Crooked or crowded teeth can trap food and plaque. Those two will invite some of their friends to the party, namely cavities and gum disease. Interceptive treatment creates the right space for your child’s teeth. With the right amount of space, your child can brush and floss without any hangups.

Reduced Need for Future Treatments

Dealing with dental issues early can save you time and money in the long run. Early orthodontic intervention can assist the growth of your child’s jaw and teeth. Why does that matter? It might help them avoid the need for more invasive treatments later. By catching and treating problems early, Dr. Petrunic helps reduce the likelihood of extensive orthodontic work in the future. 

Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

The Process of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Now that you know what early orthodontic treatment is and how it can help, here’s how it works. You’ll start with a comprehensive consultation. During your initial visit, Dr. Petrunic examines your child’s teeth, jaws, and face. He might opt for X-rays and other diagnostic tools to understand the development of their teeth and jaws. Based on this evaluation, Dr. Petrunic creates a personalized treatment plan for your child’s particular needs.

Treatment often involves the use of orthodontic appliances such as clear aligners, braces, spacers, or retainers. Our appliances work to correct alignment and shape the growth of your child’s teeth and jaws. We will schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor their progress and make necessary adjustments.

Long-Term Outcomes of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment can have lasting positive effects on your child’s dental health. If you start early with Petrunic Orthodontics, there’s less to fix in the future. Once Dr. Petrunic gets a hold of your child’s smile, he’ll be able to give them a smile that will last for decades. 

Brushing and flossing out to be a lot of fun. Misaligned teeth are a drag to clean, though. It’s so much harder to get a toothbrush between teeth that are crowded or out of alignment. Even your child’s favorite toothbrush or toothpaste won’t help. But cleaning straight teeth is a total breeze. Moreover, cleaner teeth are less likely to get cavities or gum disease. 

Brighter smiles can also affect your child’s emotional and psychological health. They’ll feel better about how they look. A well-aligned smile can boost a child’s confidence, positively impacting social interactions and self-image. 

Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

Early Orthodontic Care at Petrunic Orthodontics

Many parents and patients report high satisfaction with the outcomes of early orthodontic care from Dr. Petrunic. The combination of improved dental function, aesthetics, and overall health highlights the comprehensive benefits of starting orthodontic treatment at a young age. Want to know more about how early orthodontic treatment can help your child? Go here to schedule a free consultation at Petrunic Orthodontics in Prattville