How Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Help Prevent Jaw Disorders?

Addressing dental issues early in children is an important practice for any parent to keep in mind—and usually, they’re thinking of teeth. But the jaw also requires special attention. Today, the Smiles of Palmetto Bay team will explain: How does early orthodontic treatment help prevent jaw disorders?

Two-Phase Treatment

This is a great example of a treatment Dr. Ross and Dr. Iglesias can use especially for children—which can help develop the jaw, as well as achieve tooth alignment. Here is an overview

  • Phase One (Early Treatment or Interceptive Phase): Typically conducted between the ages of seven and ten, this phase addresses orthodontic issues while a child still has a mix of baby and permanent teeth. The primary objective is to tackle specific issues, such as severe crowding, crossbites, or protruding front teeth, which are best addressed during a child’s growth phase.
  • Phase Two (Comprehensive Treatment): This phase is initiated once most or all of the baby teeth have been shed, usually around ages eleven to fourteen. It focuses on achieving the final alignment of permanent teeth and ensuring proper alignment of the upper and lower jaws. Comprehensive treatment often involves the use of full braces or other orthodontic appliances to fine-tune tooth and bite positions.

Helping the Jaw

When it comes to the jaw, the first phase of treatment is a huge part of development. 

  1. Guiding Jaw Growth: During a child’s early years, their jaw is still developing, as the bone tissue is more malleable overall. Early treatment can guide the growth of the jaws to ensure they align properly, reducing the risk of disorders such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites.
  2. Correcting Skeletal Imbalances: Some children may exhibit skeletal irregularities or imbalances, leading to issues like misaligned bites or asymmetrical facial growth. Early treatment can intervene to correct these imbalances, promoting proper jaw alignment and facial symmetry. 
  3. Addressing Malocclusions: Malocclusion is another word for misalignments of teeth and/or jaws. It can contribute to jaw disorders over time if it’s left untreated. Early treatment addresses issues like crowding, spacing, or protrusion of teeth, preventing them from worsening over time and potentially leading to jaw issues.
  4. Promoting Proper Function: Correcting orthodontic issues early on ensures that the teeth and jaws function harmoniously. By optimizing bite function and alignment, early treatment reduces the strain on the jaw joints, minimizing the risk of issues like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
  5. Eruption of Permanent Teeth: Early treatment, specifically phase one treatment, can create more space for permanent teeth to erupt properly. By guiding the pattern of permanent teeth, it helps prevent overcrowding and other issues that can impact jaw development.

How Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Help Prevent Jaw Disorders?

Other Benefits

In addition to correcting jaw issues, there are a number of other benefits of early interceptive treatment in children.

  1. Correcting Habits: As children, detrimental oral habits may develop and persist. Through collaboration with parents, we strive to address and reverse these habits, promoting better oral hygiene practices.
  2. Reducing Need for Extractions: Extractions are often viewed as a last resort for dental issues. By addressing concerns early on, we can reduce the likelihood of requiring extractions later in life.
  3. Improving Speech Development: Certain orthodontic issues, such as underbites, can impact speech development in children. By addressing these issues, we can enhance speech patterns as children grow.
  4. Enhancing Facial Symmetry: Early intervention may involve addressing skeletal and dental issues to improve overall facial symmetry, contributing to a more balanced appearance.
  5. Boosting Self-Esteem: A child’s social interactions in school can significantly impact their self-esteem. Improving their dental appearance instills confidence in their smile, positively influencing their mental well-being.
  6. Improving Airway Function: Certain issues, such as narrow dental arches or malpositioned teeth, can affect the airway and breathing patterns. Early treatment can address these issues and allow for better airway function. This reduces the risk of breathing-related issues like sleep apnea.
  7. Setting Them Up for Success: Phase one treatment lays the groundwork for proper dental alignment, simplifying or shortening phase two treatment, which typically involves braces. This initial phase sets young patients on the path to success in their orthodontic journey.
  8. Preventing Trauma: Misaligned teeth, particularly protruding ones, can increase the risk of dental trauma during physical activities like sports. Straightening teeth reduces susceptibility to such injuries, promoting overall oral health and safety.

How Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Help Prevent Jaw Disorders?

Keeping Issues at Bay

We have the honor of being able to treat kids all over the Palmetto Bay area and surrounding communities and love to explain how proactivity in dentistry is often a key to a healthier smile in the long run. Our office is always only a call away at 786-798-8058!