Benefits of Early Diagnosis
Skeletal or jaw problems can easily be identified at an early age. It is estimated that 80% of our facial growth is completed by 8 years of age. A timely exam allows Dr. Tendler to determine how and when a child’s particular jaw and/or dental problems should be corrected for the optimal results.
An early orthodontic examination (at ages 7 to 9 years old) does not always result in immediate treatment. After evaluating your child, Dr. Tendler may simply take a ‘let’s wait and see’ approach while the face and jaws continue to grow. It’s not about making teeth look perfectly straight at an early age, but about evaluating the foundation of the bite (spacing of the teeth and jaw relationships) and identifying the problems that are better treated sooner than later. When no early intervention is required, patients at Tendler Orthodontics are placed on a six-month Alignment program.
Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for an examination include:
- early or late loss of baby teeth
- missing or extra permanent teeth
- difficulty in chewing, biting, or speech
- mouth breathing
- thumb sucking or other oral habits, including tongue thrusting
- crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- jaws that shift or make sounds
- teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
- facial imbalance or asymmetry
- jaws that are too far forward or back (overbites or underbites)
In many of these cases, the issue may be resolved completely with an initial, interceptive phase of treatment. Many times such intervention eliminates the need for full braces later in life or, if orthodontic treatment is still necessary, can shorten the process without the need for extractions of permanent teeth and/or other surgical procedures.