Most parents often wonder if an early Orthodontic Assessment is a marketing tactic. However be rest assured that an early orthodontic treatment is much more than a financial (orthodontic treatment is expensive, postpone it for later) or cosmetic decision (only crooked teeth require an early orthodontic assessment). It involves understanding the Oral developmental issues in your child. If these issues are not corrected on time it can escalate to bigger problems when the child becomes an adult.
Early Orthodontic Assessment is a timely intervention to understand and rectify the more serious bite related problems in the child. Teeth that are not aligned (Crooked teeth) are harder to clean, making them more prone to cavities, gum disease, fast wear and tear these, in turn, can further lead to broken teeth or loose teeth and sensitivity.
This is why the recommended age for early orthodontic assessment is age 7. Treatment may not be required so early in all cases and the orthodontist may ask you to come back after all the permanent teeth have erupted (for the traditional orthodontic treatment). However, early detection of dental issues will ensure less invasive treatments in the future.
Orthodontist use Growth Modification and Growth Enhancement techniques to correct the bite in children. Orthodontic Growth modification (early treatment) is a two-stage treatment process for children with malocclusion (poor bite). Growth modification is only possible when bones are still growing as it is most effective during a child’s growth spurt.
Orthodontists use many growth modification devices (appliances) to change the position, shape, length, or width of the jawbone(s). Some common Growth modification devices are: Headgear, Herbst, Bionator, and Palatal expansion appliance
To put this into perspective – what would you do if your child develops acne – you would run to different dermatologists, allied medicine practitioners (Ayurveda, Homeopathy etc.) – because you believe it will affect your child’s future. On the same lines just because you cannot see a problem does not mean it does not exist – It is just probably well hidden.