The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

A woman dentist with blue scrubs smiling at a girl in her exam chair.

Exploring the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Our Chapel Hill pediatric dentists Drs. Lenise Clifton and Charles Mauney along with their friendly staff are dedicated to providing our patients with the very best pediatric dental and orthodontic care in our warm and nurturing environment.  While a smile can be improved at any age with braces, there is an optimal time for orthodontic treatment to begin. Our practice agrees with the recommendation made by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) which states a child should have his or her first orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7 or at the first sign of orthodontic problems. 

Why age 7? 

While treatment may not be necessary at this early age, this timely evaluation by an orthodontist can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment if it is deemed necessary. By the time a child is 7, the first adult molars have come in to establish the bite. This is when an orthodontist can evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships so that any problems can be detected such as a crossbite, open bite, crowding of the teeth or a “gummy” smile. 

Advantages of Early, Interceptive Treatment 

Some of the advantages associated with early interceptive treatment includes: 

• Making room for crowded, erupting teeth 

• Creating optimal facial symmetry or balance by influencing jaw growth 

• Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth 

• Saving space for teeth that have yet to erupt 

• Reducing or eliminating the need to pull teeth 

• Reducing the time spent wearing braces 

What is Early Treatment? 

Early orthodontic treatment may involve the use of orthodontic appliances or partial braces to guide the developing jawbones and to create a more optimal environment for the adult teeth as they come in. In most cases, this early phase of treatment is followed by more comprehensive treatment (full braces) at the appropriate age. This second phase of treatment is typically shorter, less involved and more effective due to the earlier treatment plan. In most cases, we are able to achieve results that would not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. 

Schedule An Appointment Today!

Without a doubt, early orthodontic treatment provides a child with the best opportunity to have a healthy, straight smile that will last a lifetime! If you’d like to schedule an initial orthodontic consultation for your child, please fill out and submit an Appointment Request form and one of our team members will then contact you to set up an appointment time. We look forward to meeting you soon and welcoming you to the Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry family!