Once the little ones start losing their baby teeth, it is important to start considering taking them to the orthodontist’s office. You might think that is a little fast, but early orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference.
Orthodontists can help you identify and address potential problems while your child is still in the development phase. If you treat dental issues early, you can speed up the process and make it easier for your kid, avoiding more complicated situations in the future.
In this sense, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation between the ages of 6 and 10. Some of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment include oral habit correction, bite improvement, space management, and prevention of orthodontics issues.
It is important to understand that every little smile is different, and treatment should be based on individual needs. So, we recommend that you take them to a dental professional.
Remember that the orthodontic journey of your kids is just beginning!
What Are Space Maintainers?
Dental care is always evolving and creating new tools that allow patients to improve their oral health. For instance, space maintainers are ingenious devices that were developed to preserve spaces in dental arches, ensuring the correct eruption of permanent teeth.
There are several types of space maintainers, such as the band and loop spacer. This consists mainly of two components: a stainless steel band and a looped wire.
Let’s see how it works:
The stainless steel band refers to a custom-fitted piece that acts like an anchor, holding the appliance in place. It offers stability and prevents unwanted movement.
On the other hand, the looped wire is carefully positioned and attached to the band. Its design has several purposes. First, it prevents the neighboring teeth from taking up more space, and second, it guides the incoming tooth into the correct position.
The band and loop space maintainers are proof of the innovation and creativity within the discipline of orthodontics. In other words, this appliance has the ability to address very specific needs and promotes proper dental development.
How Are Space Maintainers Placed?
Well, placing space maintainers is a delicate process that only dental professionals can perform. In essence, the procedure consists of careful assessment, customization, placement, and removal of the piece once the permanent teeth erupt correctly.
Here are some of the steps explained:
1. Initial Examination:
The process begins when the orthodontist examines thoroughly the teeth of the patient. In addition, they may require X-rays and impressions of the patient’s denture to understand the position of the teeth.
The next step consists of the design of the appliance, which is based on the X-rays and impressions of the patient’s teeth. The space maintainer is a custom piece and should fit the patient’s mouth comfortably.
3. Placement of the Appliance:
Before placing the space maintainer, the orthodontist will thoroughly clean the patient’s teeth. This will help the appliance adhere properly to the teeth.
4. Cementing the Maintainer:
Once the appliance is ready, the orthodontist will carefully place it in the patient’s mouth, ensuring that it fits properly and comfortably. In order to do that, the orthodontist applies dental cement to the space maintainer.
When the orthodontist determines that the permanent tooth is ready to come out, they remove the space maintainer. Usually, this is a quick and painless procedure.
Why Dental Space Maintainers Are Necessary?
There might be situations where a baby’s tooth is lost before its natural time. This can increase the risk of the neighboring teeth shifting into the empty space and causing alignment issues for permanent teeth. If this happens, the orthodontist may recommend using appliances, such as the space maintainer band and loop, to save space for the upcoming teeth.
Here are some of the specific circumstances where the orthodontist could recommend space maintainers:
Early Tooth Loss:
This is the main reason why your child may need a space maintainer. As we explained before, premature tooth loss can change the correct position of teeth, leading to complications in the alignment of the smile. There are several factors that can cause premature tooth loss, such as tooth decay, trauma, or extraction.
To avoid potential dental issues, like overcrowded teeth, the orthodontist could use space maintainers. These appliances would keep the correct order of tooth eruption.
Guiding Tooth Eruption:
In addition, space maintainers can help guide the eruption of permanent teeth into their correct positions.
Orthodontic Treatment Plan:
To ensure the success of orthodontic treatment, the dental professional can recommend the use of a space maintainer. As a consequence, all of the teeth will have enough space to erupt and create a beautiful smile for the little patient.
It’s important to follow the orthodontist’s recommendations for the timely placement and care of space maintainers to achieve the best possible outcomes for the patient’s oral health.
What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Going to the orthodontist’s office from a young age can have a positive impact on the oral health of your child. This approach, also known as early orthodontic treatment, aims to address developing dental and skeletal problems early, to prevent more severe problems in the future, and potentially reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment.
Remember that several institutions recommend that the first orthodontic visit of your kid should be around the age of 7. This initial visit allows the orthodontist to assess the child’s dental situation and determine if early orthodontic intervention is needed.
The advantages of early orthodontic treatment include:
Oral Habit Correction:
Early treatment can correct harmful habits that are common at a young age, such as thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting. These habits can negatively impact teeth alignment and jaw development.
Another benefit is that early intervention allows the orthodontist to identify and treat bite issues, like overbites and underbites.
In case of premature teeth loss, orthodontists can help the patients keep the spaces for the permanent teeth to come out in their correct positions. This procedure will avoid other complications, such as crowding teeth.
Prevention of Orthodontic Issues:
Taking your child to the orthodontist’s office can help with the early identification and resolution of potential problems that might worsen over time. Some of these issues include improper bites, skeletal irregularities, crowding teeth, and lack of space.
Reduced Extensive Treatment Need:
Addressing dental issues early can reduce or even eliminate the need for more extensive orthodontics treatment like tooth extractions or jaw surgery.
When is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
Early orthodontic intervention becomes necessary when a child’s emerging teeth and jaw show indications of irregularities that demand immediate attention. This approach often involves the use of appliances like braces, aligners, or space maintainers to guide the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.
In essence, early orthodontic treatment helps to promote good oral health, proper tooth alignment, and a more harmonious dental structure for the patient. Regular dental check-ups and early orthodontic consultations are important to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
How to Preserve Valuable Space: Ask for an Orthodontic Appointment
We understand that there’s nothing more precious than your child’s smile. So, you can help them achieve their full potential by scheduling an appointment with a dental professional. In the first consultation, the orthodontist will evaluate your child’s dental development, making sure that everything is in order. This approach can lead to more efficient treatment, potentially reducing the need for extensive orthodontic procedures in the future.
Your child’s perfect smile begins with an appointment; make it happen now! You can reach out to Hillsdale Orthodontics, where Dr. Leemin, Dr. Handick, and their experienced team will be happy to attend to all your dental needs.