Early Intervention Orthodontics
In the USA and Europe, orthodontists usually begin to treat children generally at an earlier age than in the UK. Historically in the UK most orthodontic treatments were carried out with NHS funding, and often the most financially efficient treatments were preferred over the method offering the best technical outcome. By treating children later in life, say at ages 12-14, orthodontists could reduce the treatment costs, but the children missed out on the opportunity to benefit from arch expansion treatment and avoid having teeth extracted unnecessarily.
Benefits of seeking an orthodontic opinion at age 8-9
A child’s mouth is an ever changing place as baby teeth fall out and adult teeth grow in their place, and the natural development of jaws and teeth can be influenced for the better. Jaw discrepancies arise when there is a mismatch in the size, shape or position of the upper and lower jaws. Early orthodontic assessment can help by identifying how the teeth and jaws are likely to develop. Then interceptive treatment can be offered where it may be beneficial to influence a child’s jaw development and either reduce a malocclusion or create spaces into which adult teeth can grow.
Some children develop habits that are linked to orthodontic problems: thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing are the most common, and all have a detrimental impact on a child’s bite and the position of the teeth. Early intervention orthodontics can reduce lingual malfunctions and avoid the damaging effects of adverse habits.
Benefits of Early Intervention Orthodontics