Most people receive orthodontic treatment when they are in their teenage years when the effects of the treatment are most likely to last into adulthood. However, some kids benefit from receiving early orthodontic treatment while the child still has some baby teeth. Here are just a few signs that your child might benefit from seeing an early orthodontist who specialises in treating younger kids.
1. Misaligned Bite
It can be difficult to judge the alignment of a child's bite while you are still waiting for their adult teeth to arrive. However, once your child's adult front teeth have fully emerged, you can judge whether they have a healthy bite. The teeth should come together, allowing your child to bite into crunchy foods like apples. If the teeth do not meet properly, your child may struggle to eat or might not be able to close their mouth fully.
2. Snoring or Mouth Breathing
Snoring is relatively rare in children, usually occurring only when the child's nose is blocked due to a cold or sinus infection. If your child routinely snores or breathes primarily through their mouth rather than their nose, that could be a sign that their teeth do not allow the mouth to be fully closed. Early orthodontic treatment can address this problem so your child can close their mouth and breathe more naturally.
3. Protruding Front Teeth
Many kids develop protruding front teeth as a result of sucking their thumb. Some cases resolve themselves when the child's first set of incisors falls out and is replaced by the adult set. However, if a child continues to suck their thumb once their adult front teeth come in, the misalignment could continue to get worse until it eventually affects the whole set of teeth.
Early orthodontic treatment, in combination with an intervention to help your child break the thumb-sucking habit, and can prevent misaligned front teeth from shifting the other teeth into incorrect positions.
4. Speech Impediment
Speech impediments in children are often related to dental problems. For some children, the speech impediment goes away as the adult teeth come in, but other kids can benefit from early orthodontic treatment to allow them to develop normal speech patterns. If you feel that your child is missing out at school or at home due to a severe speech impediment, ask your dentist whether early orthodontic treatment could help.
For more information, contact local orthodontic clinics.