Early Orthodontic Treatment
Sherman Oaks, CA

Orthodontic issues such teeth and jawbone malposition are usually associated with teenagers and adults, and so are the treatments used to fix them. However, what most people do not realize is that orthodontic problems sometimes stem from an early age, often becoming quite serious in later years.

At Dougherty Orthodontics, we are leaders in pediatric dental services, and we offer, among others, early orthodontic treatment to help fix orthodontic problems before they become too serious.

Common Early Orthodontic Problems And Their Causes

Ideally, the teeth and jawbone are supposed to develop in a specific and perfect formation to help maximize oral health and functionality. However, due to one reason or another, the teeth and jawbone growth and development might be affected, leading to misalignment and malposition problems. When this happens, some dental (or orthodontic) problems can occur.

The alignment and malposition of teeth and jawbone, as well as the subsequent dental problems, can even affect kids from a very young age – hence the name early orthodontic problems. Some of the most common of these problems include:

  • Overcrowding that occurs when there is not enough space for the developing teeth in the jawbone.
  • Widely spaced teeth, which can be due to missing teeth .
  • Protrusion of the upper teeth, where they extend way beyond the position of the lower teeth.
  • Bite problems: An underbite, crossbite, open bite, and overbite, can all be caused by misalignments of the teeth and/or the jaw.

There are several reasons why these early orthodontic problems might occur. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Early tooth loss, which can lead to widely spaced teeth, and later, when the permanent teeth start to emerge, overcrowding.
  • Injuries to the mouth that affect the position of the teeth or jaws.
  • Thumb sucking habit, which can cause the upper teeth to protrude.
  • Poor dental hygiene, leading to the development of weak and unhealthy teeth.

Benefits Of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic problems at an early age might seem to be minor, but if they are not treated, they can result in serious dental problems in later years. Luckily, there are several early orthodontic treatments that help to nip these problems in the bud. This can help to spare your child severe dental problems as they grow older, which can cause them pain, discomfort, and even embarrassment.

Early orthodontic treatment also helps to promote optimal oral functionality and health, healthy and strong teeth, and optimal nutrition. On top of that, earlier treatment is less expensive, which helps to save you money.

Types Of Early Orthodontic Treatments

There are several treatment options that are available for treating early orthodontic problems. These include:

  • Braces. Dental braces are among the most common early orthodontic treatment options. They help to straighten misaligned teeth by restoring them to their ideal position.
  • Clear Aligners. Aligners, just like braces, are used to adjust the position of the teeth, shifting them to their correct position. Aligners are more aesthetically pleasing compared to braces, and thus they play a cosmetic role in addition to restoring the position of the teeth.
  • Retainers. Retainers are used after braces to maintain the results that have been achieved until the gum and the jaw adjust to the new teeth positioning.
  • Space maintainers. Space maintainers are dental devices that help to maintain the space of lost teeth, particularly baby teeth, until the permanent teeth emerge. They are a preventative early orthodontic treatment that helps to prevent the occurrence of problems such as overcrowding and large gapped teeth.

Is your child is suffering from orthodontic problems? Call us, Dougherty Orthodontics, at (818) 986-6223 and learn about early orthodontic treatment options that can help.