Many candidates for orthodontic treatment tend to wait until their teen years to begin correcting their smile. However, earlier treatment can be more effective when correcting a misaligned bite or crooked teeth. As a person ages, their palate (roof of the mouth) hardens, making it more difficult to move the teeth and mouth tissues with orthodontic appliances. Our specialist for NFL-quality mouth guards in Scottsdale explains more below.
What Happens As We Age?
As a child, the roof of the mouth (palate) is soft since the tissues haven’t yet fused together. As children get older, these tissues fuse and harden, making orthodontic treatment more difficult. The younger you treat conditions such as underbite, misalignment, or a crowded bite, the quicker and easier these procedures will be.
Benefits of Early Correction
Since it is easier to adjust the bite of a younger child, treatment is often shorter in duration and less painful because of their softer mouth tissues. Additionally, the risk for further orthodontic and dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease, goes up the longer you wait to start treatment. Not to mention, early treatment can help preserve self-esteem, as getting metal braces or other visible orthodontic treatments in the late teens can lead to self-consciousness.
Treatments for Young Children
There are a few conditions that must be treated as young as possible. If your child has a problem with teeth crowding, there may not be enough room for all of their teeth to grow in. This can cause many issues down the road—and palatal expanders can help by expanding the palate to make room for new teeth. Palatal expanders are simply installed in the roof of the mouth and are gradually widened to expand the upper jaw.
It is critical that palatal expanders are installed during childhood, while the bones in the mouth are still pliable. This process is not possible in adulthood, and surgery will be needed to fix a crowded mouth.
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The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Surprise + Carefree Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontist office in Scottsdale, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 480.725.8209.