Importance Of Orthodontics For Children

Orthodontics plays an important role in creating a healthy, self-confident smile. Contrary to common belief, children should undergo an orthodontic examination even though they still have their milk teeth. So, a preferable age to visit an orthodontist, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics, is up to the age of 7. Even though many people think that it is too early for such a visit, it is a perfect age as the children’s jaws and teeth are still in development. In that way, an orthodontist can notice potential problems and possible jaw issues, and what’s important, can act on them preventatively. When you take care of something that is still not a big problem, only a potential one, you save yourself lots of time, pain, and money in some future treatments. That being said, it’s of high importance to take your children to see an orthodontist at this early age, so you can assure they have a crisp white smile, with hardly any painful and complex treatments when they’re fully grown.


1. What is the purpose of Orthodontics?

Orthodontics has always been an integral part of dentistry and its purpose is reflected in the development of healthy teeth and functional jawline. What does this mean? It means that orthodontics treatments deal with creating a healthy, functional bite. It can be achieved through tooth alignment and jaw position. In cases when the jaw and teeth are aligned properly only then they can function as intended. The promotion of oral health and general physical health is the key. When it comes to children and these treatments, the purpose is to help your child bite and chew and at the same time speak coherently. An additional advantage is more aesthetically-appealing teeth, which provide a great smile as well as boost your children’s self-confidence.

2. What does the term ‘children’s orthodontics’ actually mean?

As already mentioned, orthodontics deals with straightening teeth, so the term ‘children’s orthodontics’ means the same, with the exception of being referred to children and their young age specifically. The main difference between regular orthodontics treatments for adults and the ones dedicated to children is that the latter one has more of a preventative nature. As some dental issues that children have come from genetics and some from bad habits such as thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, or abnormal swallowing, the orthodontist’s role are to spot these and propose ways to straighten these problems in order to avoid more serious issues that require complex procedures in the future. So, we could say that the orthodontist nips these potential issues in the bud. When considering dental centers for your child, make sure they specifically deal with children’s orthodontics. Taking your child to an early orthodontics evaluation at Terrigal Dental would be one such option, where the professional and friendly staff can assess your child’s teeth and discuss some orthodontics options available for your child.

3. What issues can early treatment support?

An early orthodontics treatment will consider many factors such as a child’s bite, jaw growth, the eruption of permanent teeth, and oral habits to conclude whether or not early treatment is necessary. Early treatments aim to improve issues so when it comes to future corrections, the treatments are less significant. However, some problems are painful and cause discomfort and they need to be addressed immediately.

Crossbites and underbites are a type of dental issues that can cause the jaw to grow unevenly and produce strain on your child’s growing teeth and jaw muscles. Using an expander in this situation helps guide the jaw and dental arch to grow in the right way.

Another issue is the growth of permanent teeth. When the arch is at the proper size, expanders help ease the overcrowding of permanent teeth as they emerge through the gums. This decreases the chances in the future for having adult teeth removed. A space maintainer is yet another form of early treatment. As its name suggests, its role is the save a space where a baby tooth has fallen out for the new permanent tooth that is about to emerge. It prevents other teeth from filling up that space.

4. The benefits of orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic treatments imply many benefits. Some of them include helping keep teeth clean and healthy. When a child has crooked or crowded teeth, effective cleaning becomes much more difficult. And when you can’t clean all the areas properly, you allow for bacteria to thrive and plaque to build up. This, in turn, causes problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. Another benefit is reflected in premature loss of teeth as some special appliances can save a spot where a baby tooth has fallen out for the permanent tooth to come in the correct position. It can also help in correcting bite problems, preventing dental trauma, and in reducing or correcting speech problems, among other things.


As you can see, children’s orthodontics is crucial for developing straight, crisp white teeth and consequently a beautiful smile.

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