When Are Children Most Compliant With Orthodontic Treatments?
Orthodontics is an interesting field when it comes to patient compliance, because younger patients are oftentimes more compliant when it comes to orthodontic devices and treatments than their older peers. According to Dr. Stuart Scott of Scott Orthodontics in Silver Spring, MD, braces and other orthodontic interventions will only work on patients who are willing to be compliant with their treatments.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated at age seven. Dr. Scott explains, however, that most children do not get braces in Silver Spring, MD at such a young age. These early evaluations – which can be done when children are even younger than seven, in some cases – serve as a starting point for any orthodontic treatments down the road. Dr. Scott says that some children will come in around age seven or eight, and they will not need to be seen again for a few years.
Age seven seems to be the magic age, as far as orthodontics is concerned, because that is the age when children will start losing a lot of their baby teeth. Any lingering habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting need to be dealt with by this time, so children do not inadvertently damage their dental alignment. If a child has a severe thumb sucking habit at this age, then that might be reason enough to consider starting some type of early orthodontic intervention.
Early interventions, also known as first-phase treatments, are recommended for children with jaw problems and severe underbites or overbites. Orthodontists will intervene early and treat children between the ages of six and eight for a short time in order to correct any jaw-related issues early. Orthodontists like Dr. Scott can take advantage of the child’s growth at that stage, which makes it easier to move around the jaws and the teeth before puberty sets in.
In addition to growth, the Silver Spring, MD, braces expert says patients between the ages of six and eight are more compliant with certain appliances than teenagers. Dr. Scott may treat some people with a first phase intervention for 12 to 18 months, before going back in later with actual braces. In Silver Spring, MD, this type of treatment recommendation is not uncommon. Early treatments give the orthodontist a chance to correct problems – whether those problems involve making space for other teeth or correcting an overbite or just getting the jaws aligned properly – and break habits with the use of a retainer before actual metal braces become necessary.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.