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Why is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important?

Posted on October 27, 2021

Many children don’t receive the early orthodontic treatment that they need. This is unfortunate because studies have shown that patients who start their orthodontic treatment before age 7 achieve better long-term results (per Kid’s Health). Here are some of the reasons why early treatment is important.

1. Better Long-Term Results

As mentioned, early treatment yields better results for patients who start their orthodontic treatment before age 7. This is because teeth are still developing at this age, which gives the orthodontist more time to work with them—the earlier the treatment starts, the more time there is for any problems to be fixed. The teeth will also move more quickly than they would if they started at a later age. But even though early treatment provides better long-term results, it does not mean that adults aren’t good candidates for orthodontic treatment as well.

2. Less Severe Treatment Is Needed Over the Long-Term

Orthodontic treatment that starts at a young age is also less severe than treatment given to an adult who has never had braces before. This happens because the patient’s teeth and jawbone will move more easily at this stage. Our bones and teeth tend to become harder as we age, making the treatment longer and more difficult.

3. Better Interceptive Period

The patient’s teeth are still developing at this young age, making it easier for orthodontic treatment to fix any issues before they become problematic. Problems such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and overcrowded teeth can all be treated while the patient is young. This will help prevent getting braces again when the patient gets older because they will maintain their bite without corrective treatment after treatment is completed at a young age.

4. Faster Treatment Period

Another reason why early orthodontic treatment is important is that it takes less time. Since the patient’s teeth are still developing, they move more easily than adult teeth. Also, because more tooth movement can be done at a young age, the treatment takes less time. All of these factors add up to a quicker treatment period.

5. Better Teen and Adult Health

When an orthodontist corrects bite issues early on, it can help prevent all sorts of health problems from occurring when the patient gets older. Some of these problems include teeth grinding, chewing, and speech problems. These will all be prevented if the patient starts treatment early.

The AAO recommends getting an examination as soon as any indication of orthodontic difficulties is observed. This includes problems such as spacing, protruding teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and any other irregularities. It is best to start treatment as early as possible as it yields better long-term results that will save the patient time and money in the long run.