Hiya Hi-5 kids (and parents)!
Now, you wouldn’t skip out on your wellness check-ups with your family pediatrician, would you?
Well, you certainly shouldn’t skip your early visit to an orthodontist office either! At Hi-5 Ortho, we recommend visiting an orthodontist by or before the age of seven! Seem too early? It’s not! An early visit will help to ensure your oral health is in the best shape possible.
Taking an early trip to the orthodontist can help to avoid expensive and invasive treatments down the line. How so, you ask?
WHAT IS PALATAL EXPANSION AND WHY WOULD WE RECOMMEND IT?
You may be in need of palatal expansion. Palatal expansion widens the upper jaw region and can help reduce over-crowding found within overly narrow arches. A palatal expander is ideal for patients who are still in the process of growing. Basically, as you’re growing, it’s easier for us to train your body on “how to grow,” if that makes sense?
To expand the palate, we use a growth plate (or suture) that’s placed in the middle of your upper palate. The growth plate pushes and stretches the upper jaw apart, thus widening your palate. By pushing the jaw apart, it creates more room for new bone structure to grow. Your teeth will be so happy because then they will also have more room to grow!
In the youngsters we work on, palatal expansion can reduce the need for later tooth-extractions (our doctors stealing your teeth before the tooth-fairy does) while also preventing impacted teeth. What’s an impacted tooth? Your teeth venture on an incredible journey to bust through your gums. An impacted tooth is when a tooth fails to fully erupt due to over-crowding or lack of space in the bone to grow.
DON'T WAIT TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
If these early problems with “not enough wiggle room” are not corrected quickly within growing kiddos, they may require invasive surgery to correct the problem during adulthood. Waiting too long to take care of impacted teeth can lead to bite problems and unhealthy wear on those poor other teeth. Adult teeth are something that are supposed to stay with you for the rest of your life, so we need to make sure they’re getting the attention they need to survive and thrive!
As with most things in life, the quicker we catch problems, the better! Early treatments to intercept complications can often lead to a shorter time needing to wear braces! Yay – that’s more fun for you and much preferred by us! When we let problems go on for too long, it often equates to larger problems in the future. No one wants more problems, so let’s squash them before they become bigger pains-in-the-buns.
INTERCEPTIVE TREATMENTS CAN SAVE YOU TIME, MONEY AND TEETH!
An example of an interceptive treatment, consider correcting an anterior crossbite. A crossbite is a funny thing that occurs from the misalignment of teeth, making the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth rather than the other way around (AKA: the right way). A crossbite makes it hard to properly chew your food, leads to less satisfaction with your smile and can bring on some peculiar-sounding speech-impediments. We want to avoid all these!
After a visit to our office, sometimes we will discover the need to remove some baby teeth or impacted teeth. Don’t worry, you don’t need those little stubby guys anyways. By removing problematic baby teeth, it makes room for your permanent teeth to emerge in all their glory. These adult teeth are really the ones we care about!
Removing baby teeth can encourage adult teeth to come in closer alignment with their ideal position, sometimes alleviating the need for orthodontic appliances (like braces) altogether. At Hi-5 ortho, we may suggest extractions in order to take advantage of our kiddos’ growth spells and natural development. Getting in to see an orthodontist as early as possible allows us to figure out the best treatment-plan, before other problems arise or get worse.
Don’t worry, not all early visits require tooth-removals, but it’s better to be safe, sure and secure than sorry! On a trip to the Hi-5 office, we may find there is no need for treatment. We may also discover that a necessary treatment will be required in the future, so we will follow up with patients while their faces and jaws continue to develop. Or, there may be a problem that already exists! If we find something that is already problematic, the most beneficial way to approach it is treating it on the spot.
OUR EXPERT TEAM IS HERE FOR YOU
Hopefully we’ve provided you with the information you need to get you excited (maybe “motivated” is a better word) for your early checkups! We hope you’ll come to Hi-5 Orthodontics for all your smile necessities and needs. We work our hardest to give people a healthy and beautiful smile, no matter their age, but as we said, the sooner we catch snags in your oral-health, the better!
The doctors at Hi-5 Orthodontics are experts in their field. They are here to make sure your teeth are properly aligned from the get-go and have the technology and trusted experience to keep you smiling with your best foot forward (best tooth forward? lol).
Call us today to set up an early-childhood orthodontic exam!