Early Treatment

Children's Orthodontist in Bearden

As a leading Fountain City family orthodontist office, Myers Orthodontics strives to provide high-quality orthodontic care while maintaining a fun, friendly-oriented office environment. Dr. Myers and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists treat every patient individually. We have the skills and experience to make every office visit a pleasant experience for all involved, even the little ones. In many cases, those patients are true quite a few!
 Orthodontic Problems.

When Should I Take My Child to the Orthodontist?

Sure, it's never too late to get orthodontic treatment, but it also is never too early for kids. We ask that parents bring their kids in for an initial examination at age 7, per the American Dental Association's guidelines. But what makes evaluating early so important?

Why Children Need Braces

By age 7, the back bite is established, which lets us examine the teeth and detect any current or future orthodontic problems. In most cases, we won't start treatment on the spot and will simply monitor your child's dental development until the time is right for braces. For some conditions, though, starting early is the best way to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. We may recommend early treatment if your child shows any of the following conditions:

Crossbite.Crossbite: Severe crossbite is a condition in which the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. It can impair bite function and cause TMJ problems later in life. Early treatment means we use a device called a palatal expander to slowly and painlessly widen your child's upper jaw. This creates more room in the mouth and permanently treats crossbite. However, this technique only works at a young age, before the jaw is fully developed. If treatment starts too late, this condition can require complicated procedures like oral surgery to correct it.

Crowding.Crowding: Severe crowding occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all the permanent teeth. If corrected early, we can treat it with a palatal expander as well. Even if your child needs braces again during adolescence, their overall treatment time will be reduced, plus their treatment will be less complex.  

Protruding teeth.
Protruding Front Teeth: When the upper front teeth stick out too far, they can be prone to chipping, damage, and trauma. Therefore, it's best to treat them as soon as possible.

Underbite: Severe underbite is when the lower jaw grows out past the upper jaw which can cause problems in the bite function and smile of a child. Treatment is more effective if started early.

Correcting Bad Habits

 Dangers of Thumb Sucking.

Another case where early intervention might be called for is in the case of parafunctional habits, which can cause problems in your child's smile or oral development. While thumb-sucking is a normal reflex in children from 0-4 years old, it can cause a condition called open bite if carried on for too long. 

Mouth breathing, an abnormal breathing pattern where the mouth constantly stays open, can alter the musculature around your child's mouth and face. In both cases, we can use orthodontic treatments to correct these habits and avoid development that's detrimental to the health and function of your child's bite and smile. And in many cases, the sooner we start, the better, which is why you must bring your child in for evaluation no later than age 7.

Contact Your Orthodontist in Bearden

Have more questions about early treatment or want to schedule your child's initial evaluation? Our Fountain City family orthodontist is here to help! Feel free to call us at (865) 687-6560, reach out to us at our contact page, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at either of our Knoxville, TN offices. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that will last them a lifetime!

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