Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

At Shiney Smiles Orthodontics, we’re committed to helping you achieve the best possible smile and overall dental health. One question we often hear from parents is whether early orthodontic treatment can truly improve their child’s dental health. Dr. Sheinis wants to dive into this important topic and explore how early intervention can significantly affect your child’s oral development and long-term dental health.

Why You Should Consider Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive orthodontics, typically begins while a child still has some baby teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. But why start so young?

  • Guiding Jaw Growth: Early treatment allows orthodontists to guide jaw growth, potentially preventing more severe issues from developing later.
  • Creating Space for Permanent Teeth: By addressing crowding early, we can create room for permanent teeth to emerge properly, reducing the need for extractions later.
  • Correcting Harmful Habits: Early intervention can help correct habits like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting that may affect dental development.
  • Improving Bite Function: Addressing bite issues early can prevent wear on teeth and improve overall oral function.
  • Enhancing Self-Esteem: Correcting visible dental issues can boost a child’s confidence during crucial developmental years.

Early orthodontic treatment isn’t just about achieving a straight smile – it’s about setting the foundation for lifelong dental health.

Common Issues Addressed by Early Orthodontic Treatment

Understanding the problems that early treatment can address helps illustrate its importance. Here are some common issues Dr. Sheinis can tackle:


A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. This can lead to uneven jaw growth and wear on tooth enamel. Early treatment can use palatal expanders to widen the upper jaw, correcting the crossbite before it causes long-term damage.

Protruding Front Teeth

Teeth that stick out are more prone to injury and can affect a child’s self-esteem. Early treatment can use special appliances to guide these teeth into a better position, reducing the risk of damage and improving appearance.

Severe Crowding

When there isn’t enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in properly, early intervention can help. By using space maintainers or other appliances, we can guide the growth of the jaw and create space for emerging teeth.

Open Bites

An open bite, where the front teeth don’t meet when biting down, can affect speech and eating. Early treatment can help correct the growth patterns leading to this issue, often preventing the need for more invasive treatments later.

The Long-Term Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Investing in early orthodontic treatment can yield significant long-term benefits for your child’s dental health:

  • Reduced Treatment Time: Addressing issues early often means shorter treatment times during the teenage years.
  • Lower Risk of Tooth Decay: Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Improved Jaw Function: Early correction of bite issues can prevent TMJ problems and improve overall jaw function.
  • Enhanced Facial Symmetry: Guiding jaw growth early can contribute to better facial balance and aesthetics.
  • Potential Cost Savings: While early treatment is an investment, it can often reduce the need for more extensive (and expensive) treatments later.

Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

What to Expect During Early Orthodontic Treatment

If Dr. Sheinis recommends early orthodontic treatment for your child, here’s what you can typically expect:

  • Initial Evaluation: Shiney Smiles Orthondtics can conduct a thorough examination, including X-rays and possibly 3D imaging, to assess your child’s specific needs.
  • Custom Treatment Plan: Based on the evaluation, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your child’s unique situation.
  • Appliance Fitting: This may involve braces on a few teeth, space maintainers, palatal expanders, or other specialized appliances.
  • Regular Check-ups: We’ll see your child regularly to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Transition to Phase Two: After the early treatment phase, there’s often a resting period before determining if a second phase of treatment is needed during the teenage years.

Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Right for Every Child?

While early treatment can be beneficial, it’s not necessary for every child. At Shiney Smiles Orthodontics, we carefully evaluate each patient to determine the most appropriate timing for treatment. Some children may benefit more from waiting until all permanent teeth have erupted before starting orthodontic treatment.

Factors we consider include:

  • The severity of the orthodontic issue
  • The child’s overall dental development
  • The potential for self-correction as the child grows
  • The impact of the issue on the child’s daily life and self-esteem

Our goal is always to provide the most effective treatment at the most appropriate time for each individual patient.

Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Improve Dental Health?

Taking the Next Step

If you’re wondering whether your child might benefit from early orthodontic treatment, the best next step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheinis. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care and answering all your questions about your child’s orthodontic needs.

Ready to explore whether early orthodontic treatment is right for your child? Contact Shiney Smiles Orthodontics today to schedule a free consultation.