Preventive Orthodontics

Think early orthodontic treatment for your child is over the top? Think again!

An early childhood assessment is good preventive orthodontic practice and is the very best way to address any common or complex orthodontic concerns in children.

preventive orthodontics

What is preventive orthodontics?

Preventive orthodontics means getting in ahead of any orthodontic issues emerging in children or teens.

While some parents question the value of consulting with an orthodontist when their child is only seven or eight, our view and that of the Australian, American and British Orthodontic Association is clear:

Prevention is a much better alternative to long term expensive treatment, making that early visit well worth the effort.

Numerous factors contribute to the onset of orthodontic problems – genetics, trauma, thumb finger sucking, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, and dental disease. Seeing an orthodontist around the age of seven or eight is an excellent way of reducing or the need for more complex and costly treatment down the track.

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 What happens at an early orthodontic assessment?

The early orthodontic assessment takes the form of an in-chair examination during which your orthodontist will look for bite related problems with your child’s jaw growth pattern. The orthodontist will take x-rays and produce images of your child’s mouth, as well as examine your child’s face. Remember, while an orthodontist is the best technical professional to undertake a qualified early orthodontic assessment of your child’s treatment needs, there are signs to look out for if you’re the parent of a young child, including:

  • Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Teeth do not meet properly when biting
  • Mouth breathing and/or snoring
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Biting or chewing difficulties
  • Lip biting
  • Speech impediments
  • Jaws that shift, protrude, or are recessed
  • Thumb or finger sucking.

If you’re in any doubt about reading the signs, an early orthodontic assessment is worth the time and effort when you consider the peace of mind you gain by visiting an orthodontist at the right time. Ultimately, this will save you time, money, worry, and potentially make orthodontic treatment simpler and more affordable. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a vital first step on a life’s journey that helps your child have the best smile and most confidence.

Tween Boy smiling up about fixing his smile

Preventive Orthodontics FAQ

The good news is there is no referral needed to book your child in for an early orthodontic assessment. This consultation is a cost effective way to understand your child’s potential orthodontic treatment requirements. And the bonus? All monitoring and development checks after the initial appointment are free until treatment commences if it’s needed.

The first step is to equip yourself with the information you need and that is best sourced from a qualified orthodontist. While some clinicians dismiss the value of an early orthodontics assessment as a preventive approach, at Specialty Orthodontics, I’ve never met a parent who wished they’d delayed their initial consult. There’s nothing like peace of mind and your orthodontist can help you achieve that.

We get it. Kids can be fickle, that’s why at Specialty Orthodontics we keep our patients’ experience front of mind. We recommend parents come in for a visit to gain a sense of our approach and who we are as people. Dr Sarah is a mum and completely understands the challenges parents face, and has consequently set up Specialty Orthodontics to cater for kids. How will you know if Dr Sarah is right for you? Come in for a chat and let your feelings do the talking.

There’s no doubt that orthodontic treatment can be daunting for parents and children alike, however, we encourage parents, carers, kids, and teens to look at the experience as a journey. Believe it or not, you can have fun on the way. We even find that many of our patients end up enjoying their orthodontic experience, especially with our lovely, enthusiastic team cheering them along. You may be surprised to find your kids aren’t the only ones who grow. Mum and dad do too!

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