In the past, many dental professionals believed orthodontic treatments such as braces were best suited for teens. However, tooth and jaw development can vary widely in young people, and orthodontists now know that children as young as seven can benefit from teeth straightening. In addition to offering braces for teens, the experienced team at Turke Orthodontics provides early orthodontic evaluations in the Brandon, Florida, area. This approach, which is known as interceptive orthodontics, allows us to detect and address many common dental issues before they become major problems.
By evaluating a child’s oral health early, an orthodontist at Turke Orthodontics can:
Identify and Correct Developmental Issues
Braces for teens can effectively straighten misaligned teeth. However, earlier orthodontic treatment can correct tooth and jaw developmental issues before they progress and require more costly interventions. For instance, in a child, braces may be a good option for addressing:
- An underbite, overbite, or crossbite
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Protruding teeth
- Overcrowded or widely spaced teeth
- Extra teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Facial asymmetry
In general, the younger the patient, the easier it is to adjust their jaw, teeth, and facial structure. Therefore, the sooner a child receives orthodontic treatment, the sooner they can achieve optimal oral health.
Promote Proper Tooth Development
Much like braces for teens, early orthodontic treatment can alleviate tooth crowding. In a younger patient, the jaw can be expanded to make room for new permanent teeth before they erupt through the gumline, helping to ensure that the teeth will move into the proper bite position. Interceptive orthodontics can also:
Enhance facial symmetry
An overbite can cause the upper lip to protrude and the lower teeth to shift behind the upper teeth, creating the appearance of a “weak chin.” On the other hand, an underbite can cause the chin to protrude and create the appearance of sunken cheeks. Treating a bite issue can help make the face look more balanced.
Reduce the risk of tooth damage and jaw pain
Protruding or misaligned teeth are more prone to chipping, cracking, and fracturing. What’s more, by eliminating an overbite or underbite, braces can help prevent teeth grinding and reduce stress on the jaw, which in turn can alleviate jaw pain and reduce the risk of headaches and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Crooked or overlapping teeth can impede the movement of the tongue, which can impact speech patterns and lead to difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and words. Straightening the teeth with braces can improve articulation and speech clarity, allowing a child to communicate more effectively.
Promote Good Oral Hygiene
Straight teeth are easier to keep clean with regular brushing and flossing because there are no tight or overlapping areas where plaque, tartar, and bacteria can build up. Proper oral hygiene practices can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease and promote a healthy and pleasing smile.
Facilitate Proper Digestion
Misaligned teeth can affect a child’s ability to thoroughly chew food, which can lead to inadequate digestion. By straightening the teeth and improving the bite, orthodontic treatment can facilitate more effective chewing. This will help ensure that food is properly broken down for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about braces for teens and children, please contact Turke Orthodontics at 813.603.1636 or use our convenient online form to request a consultation at our orthodontic office in Brandon, FL.