Regarding the usefulness and timing of orthodontic treatment, conventional wisdom tells us to wait until the permanent teeth have erupted for best results. As we are learning, this could not be farther from the truth. Modern research indicates that there is a window of opportunity for effective intervention while the child’s jawbone, teeth, and mouth are still developing. The developmental stages are when the bones and tissues of the mouth are most pliable, ergo most receptive to orthodontic manipulation. We find the best time to intervene is between four and 12 years of age. Essentially, we are taking advantage of the natural growth and plasticity of this stage, instead of fighting the rigidity and strength of a matured mouth.
In addition to the efficacy of early intervention, there are several tangential benefits offered by orthodontic treatment provided at a young age. Restlessness affects people of every age, but most especially growing children. A lack of quantity or quality of sleep can manifest itself in behavioral consequences – such as decreased attention span, lethargy, moodiness, and more. In some cases, we discover that children exhibiting signs of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are actually suffering from restricted airways due to alignment issues in the jaw or teeth, which in turn affects their sleep cycles. In these cases, the use of braces or other appliances can aid in opening the airway, resulting in healthier sleep cycles and resolving the accompanying issues.
The use of orthodontic appliances can take years to achieve beautiful results, with some children wearing them for the better part of their most formative years. With early intervention, we can significantly decrease the necessary time to correct alignment issues, and many times eliminate completely the need for a second round of braces. This means less time wearing braces, less money spent on braces, and it can avoid the need to remove over-crowded teeth by correcting them quickly.
We pride ourselves on offering the most sophisticated treatment plans when it comes to you and your child. Modern methods offer us a broad, new repertoire of tools and avenues for achieving healthy and beautiful results – We love sharing them with our community. Early intervention enables us to efficiently achieve results that are often better than the alternatives available later if treatment is postponed, and in doing so, gives your child a smile to be proud of early in life. If you think your child may be a candidate for early orthodontic treatment – contact us today.
Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368