Early orthodontic treatment for children typcially begins between the ages of 9 and 11, though initial consultations can take place around age 7 or older. Early treatment is usually sought to correct jaw growth or bite problems.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends you schedule a consultation if you recognize any of these issues with your child:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips
What is the cause of my child's orthodontic problems?
There are a number of potential causes to orthodontic problems in children. A few of the more common ones are:
- Late thumb sucking
- Early or late tooth loss
By having your child treated early, they have the advantage of undergoing treatment before their jaw bones have hardened. This enables Dr. Sonneborn and his staff to set a treatment schedule that will have the greatest possible results for your child. While treatment after the bones have hardened still has measurable success, the results will not be as good as they could have been had treatment started earlier.