Early Orthodontic Treatments on Children

One of the questions we’re most often asked by parents is “when should my child start braces?” Parents may not realize that a child as young as six may greatly benefit from early orthodontic treatment.
This is a recent case that demonstrates why early intervention is important. The images shown are not of a perfect smile, but esthetics were not the goal. Lukas presented as a six year old with an a nterior crossbite. Notice in the photo on the upper left and how his lower teeth are in front of his upper. This is a serious problem that will affect the growth of his upper jaw. When the lower teeth are positioned outside of the upper teeth they will become trapped. This trapping will not allow bone growth at a proper rate, therefore creating a deficiency in the upper jaw. Visually the patient’s profile may have a major dip in the face under the nose, notice the bottom left photo.
Lukas’ case took approximately six months. The primary goal was to “un-trap” the upper teeth and allow them to move into position over the lower teeth. Now that this has been accomplished, the upper jaw is free to grow without restriction.
Traditionally orthodontics are started in the teenage years. However, had this case been delayed until that stage of life the upper jaw would have been deficient. Making treatment very challenging and sometimes requiring extensive surgeries. Delaying makes it very difficult to move the teeth into the correct position and allow proper growth of the upper jaw. It’s possible that treatment may be unsuccessful.
Again, esthetics in this case were not goal. The priority was to free the upper teeth and allow his upper jaw the freedom to grow at a proper rate. Lukas will continue to be monitored and determine if he will require braces later in life. This case in an example of early intervention and why routine dental visits are so important.