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Finding the Right Timing for Orthodontic Treatment

For some patients, orthodontic timing for treatment can be something that is quite obvious. In some select patients timing for orthodontic care can depend on a few factors. It is recommended that children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the time they are 7. In the vast majority of cases, orthodontic intervention will not be needed at that age. Dr. Sam Bullard, in his Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry practice, will evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs to determine if and when braces may be needed.

In patients who are already facing crowding problems, their orthodontic treatment may be started early in order to avoid potentially worse dental problems further on down the road.

Orthodontic Assessment

In his Indianapolis, IN office pediatric dentist Dr. Sam Bullard will conduct an orthodontic assessment that covers several areas of potential concern.

By the age of 7 it should be clear whether there are eruption concerns with teeth that should already be in, like the upper and lower incisors. Teeth that are missing or tooth crowding concerns should also be evident at this age.

If there are significant concerns with permanent teeth eruption, missing or extra teeth, or crowding problems, they need to be addressed before braces. This can lead to children requiring treatment a lot sooner than a child who has none of these issues.

Treatment Options

There are a number of options that Dr. Bullard will discuss with you, once he has completed his assessment. A crowding issue can often be resolved without the need to remove teeth, as there is a device called a lower lingual arch. This device works as a space maintainer, and is most effective in a young mouth when there are still some baby teeth in the mouth. Some baby teeth are actually wide than the permanent teeth that come. So with the lower lingual arch device in place, space in the mouth is preserved as the permanent teeth come in.

The Right Treatment Plan

There are many different options, and no one-size fits all patients solution when it comes to orthodontics and dental care in general. It’s important to keep up appointments with Dr. Sam Bullard, DDS so that your child’s good oral health is maintained.

There is no quick fix and easy answer for orthodontic timing and treatment, as each patient will have his or her own unique set of oral conditions. What might work well for one patient might not be the ideal solution for another patient.

Some may require no intervention until most permanent teeth have come in, while others may require surgery and other serious dental intervention.

The best plan is to keep up with appointments, follow the advice of Dr. Bullard and his pediatric dentistry team, and encourage good home oral care. Routine brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet will keep that smile beautiful.