Parents are well aware of how costs can add up when raising their kids. So it can be easy to brush off the idea of taking your child to the orthodontist earlier than expected. But while you may think it would help you save money by skipping early orthodontics, it’s often less expensive in the long run to address orthodontic issues early on. And of course, making the decision to address orthodontic problems at the right time will be very beneficial for your child’s health as well.
What Does Early Orthodontics Fix?
When older kids and teens start orthodontic treatment with braces, they can expect to be in treatment for about a year or two, with some cases taking a bit longer. The main issues being addressed with these treatments crooked teeth and crowding. Invisalign and braces can also address problems like overbites and underbites as well.
Parents often anticipate these issues and are willing to spend the money to get braces or Invisalign for their kids.
But when it comes to early orthodontics, many of the problems being addressed have to do with the shape and size of the jaw. When kids have problems related to jaw development, it can result in bigger problems later on. Early orthodontic treatment will initiate a two-phase treatment, with the first phase taking care of problems with the dental arch and other jaw issues.
When Should My Child Start Early Orthodontics?
The target age for the first phase of treatment is around age seven. There are a few reasons why this is the ideal age to have your child assessed. For one, the jaw is very malleable at this age, which means problems with development can be addressed relatively easily. It’s also the age when your kids will have lost some baby teeth and some adult teeth have emerged, which gives your orthodontist some good clues as to how the jaw is developing.
If your orthodontist finds problems that need to be fixed, they’ll get your child started with the first phase of treatment.
Why You Save Money at the Orthodontist by Taking Your Child Early
You’re likely still wondering how getting orthodontic treatment for your child twice could save you money. The reason this works is taking care of any problems with the jaw is much more difficult once it’s fully developed. Waiting to try to expand the palate or address very severe crowding will often require invasive treatments, such as surgery, tooth extractions, or an extended time in braces.
After children finish the first phase of treatment by getting a palatal expander or Invisalign First, they will be set up for a much shorter time in braces or Invisalign later on in life than if they hadn’t received any early treatment.
So even though they will be going through orthodontic treatment twice, the optimal timing of the first phase of treatment can result in your child needing a less expensive and invasive treatment later on in life.
To learn more about early orthodontics and to have your child assessed, contact Smith Orthodontics today and schedule a free consultation.