Parents are sometimes quite surprised to hear that their child should have their first orthodontic checkup around the time that they turn seven. Although it may seem as though a child is too young for braces at this point, the truth is that this visit doesn't typically result in a full set of brackets and wires. Instead, children at this age are assessed to determine if starting treatment before all of their teeth come in may be worth it to provide these four important benefits for their future smile.
Develop a Positive Relationship With the Orthodontist
Younger children tend to be more receptive to meeting their orthodontic team and following their instructions. Since your child is still developing their oral hygiene habits, they'll be able to adapt to any new changes in their routine. Getting to know their orthodontist around the age of seven means that they'll have a strong bond by the time they are working on their final phase of treatment.
Protect Your Child's Current Permanent Teeth From Damage
Your child may already have their front adult teeth. Sadly, these are often the first ones to get damaged during an accident, and the likelihood of them getting chipped goes up if they are misaligned and sticking out. Your child's early phase of treatment can involve strategies that pull their teeth into the proper position in their mouth so that they are less likely to be damaged. Correcting misaligned bites can also reduce tooth grinding and other behaviors that harm teeth.
Prevent Orthodontic Issues From Developing
In some cases, your child's first phase may reduce the amount of orthodontic services that they need later. This is especially true for children who lack enough space in their jaw for their permanent teeth to come in straight. Your child's first treatment phase may involve using a special appliance to expand their jaw. With this procedure, the teeth may then have enough room to grow into their desired spaces so that your child avoids having to wear braces for a long period of time.
Lay the Groundwork for the Final Treatment
There are many important things that happen during the first phase of orthodontic treatment that help with the final phase. In addition to bringing their teeth into better alignment, your child learns early skills for how to care for their teeth and appliances that stay with them for the rest of their life. After their resting phase, your child will find it easier to transition to the final phase since they are already mentally prepared to comply with their treatment plan.
For more information, reach out to orthodontic services near you.