Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What he meant was that it’s easier to stop something from happening in the first place than it is to repair the damage after it’s happened.
At the office of Denise DiBona, DDS, we know that’s particularly true when it comes to the health and well-being of your child’s mouth. The best time to intervene in the health and appearance of your child’s teeth and jaw is early, when they’re still developing.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have an initial orthodontic exam by the age of 7. By that age, all of the permanent incisors and the permanent first molars should have come through.
One of the services we offer is early intervention orthodontics for children. An early orthodontic screening lets us evaluate growth issues with the jaw, crowding, and the development of dental protrusions. The earlier we spot a problem, the earlier we can treat it.
In an early intervention orthodontic exam, we can spot problems with emerging teeth or jaw growth even when your child still has some baby teeth present.
Dr. Denise DiBona has had training in dentofacial orthopedics, an area of dentistry that is designed to help with the growth of your child’s face and jaw throughout childhood. She can prepare your child early for orthodontic treatment that may be needed later on.
Because jaw bones don’t start hardening until the teen years, finding those problems with bite and jaw alignment early means that they may be easier to correct. Sometimes children show early signs of jaw problems. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can benefit from early orthodontic intervention.
We can reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth and help guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions.
Other benefits of early intervention orthodontics include increasing your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Unfortunately these days, kids start being self-conscious about their appearance long before the teen years. The earlier we can correct that, the better.
Early intervention orthodontics may also reduce the need for more expensive treatment with braces down the road. (That pound of cure ole Ben Franklin was talking about.)
Does Your Child Need Early Intervention Orthodontics?
We recommend an exam for your child for evaluation purposes. But if your child is having any of these issues, it may be a sign that he or she might need early orthodontic treatment:
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Protruding teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Crowded front teeth
- Thumb-sucking after the age of five
- Teeth that don’t come together in a normal way
What We Will Look For
When your child comes in for his or her consultation at our office in Red Bank we will examine his or her mouth to determine if the teeth and jaw are growing correctly, and we will note any problems we see. Dr. DiBona will talk about your child’s treatment options at the time.
She welcomes any questions and will address all of your concerns. If your child is a good candidate for orthodontic treatments, Dr. DiBona will begin them when the time is right.
Once we determine any issues, we can take early action to remedy them.
During Phase I of the intervention process, Dr. DiBona will begin with arch development and expansion. This lets your child’s teeth grow in without any crowding issues. The treatment can also prevent your child from developing sleep apnea.
The jaws of children between ages 4 and 12 are still developing. For them, we can do an intervention that’s aimed at those still-growing jaws and lets us regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches. This will keep your child from having to get teeth extracted later on due to overcrowding in the mouth.
With early intervention orthodontic treatment, we can also improve your child’s lip closure and improve his or her self-esteem.
Schedule Your Child’s Consultation
If you’re ready to start your child’s preventive orthodontics treatment, the team at Dr. DiBona’s office is ready to help. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 732-945-5343. You can also fill out our convenient appointment form, and one of our team members will call you back shortly.