Why Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important?

When it comes to dental health, early orthodontic treatment is more than just a cosmetic fix; it’s a crucial investment in a person’s long-term well-being. Children’s teeth and jaw structures develop rapidly, and addressing potential issues early can have numerous benefits, from improving oral health to boosting self-confidence.

The Benefits of Addressing Dental Issues Early

Addressing dental issues early through orthodontic treatment offers a range of benefits, particularly when initiated at a young age. Here are some significant advantages of early intervention:

Guiding Jaw Growth and Permanent Teeth

Early orthodontic treatment helps guide the growth of the jaw and the eruption of permanent teeth. This proactive approach can contribute to proper alignment, reducing the likelihood of more severe orthodontic problems later in life.

Regulating Dental Arch Width

Orthodontic intervention in early childhood allows for the regulation of the width of the upper and lower dental arches. This helps create a harmonious alignment of teeth, promoting a balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Creating Space for Crowded Teeth

Early treatment can address issues of crowded or misaligned teeth by creating additional space. This not only improves the appearance of the smile but also facilitates better oral hygiene, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Avoiding Permanent Tooth Extractions

Timely orthodontic care can prevent the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life. By addressing alignment issues early, the orthodontist can guide the development of the dentition to accommodate all permanent teeth appropriately.

Correcting Thumb-Sucking Habits

Early orthodontic intervention is effective in correcting habits such as thumb-sucking. Breaking these habits during childhood can prevent dental issues and contribute to proper oral development.

Parents will want to choose a pediatric dentist in Saskatoon with experience and a comforting approach when seeking early orthodontic treatment for their children. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children’s dental issues, and their experience in dealing with young patients helps make the journey to a perfect smile as smooth as possible.

Improving Minor Speech Problems

Certain orthodontic issues can contribute to minor speech problems. Addressing these concerns early can improve speech development, enhancing communication skills and overall confidence.

Preventing More Severe Problems

By catching problems early on, orthodontists can prevent them from developing into more severe issues, which can become more difficult and costly to treat later. Here are just a few of the potential issues that early orthodontic treatment can head off:

  • Malocclusions like overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites

  • Overcrowding or unusually spaced teeth

  • Unfavorable growth patterns of the jaw

  • Dental injuries due to protruding teeth

Facilitating Future Treatments

Early orthodontic interventions don’t always mean a child will avoid braces or additional orthodontic care later; however, it does mean that any future treatments are likely to be shorter and less complicated.

When to Consider Early Orthodontic Treatment

Recognizing the Signs

Parents should be aware of signs that may indicate the need for an orthodontic evaluation. These signs include difficulty in chewing, early or late loss of baby teeth, mouth breathing, thumb sucking past the age of five, speech impediments, protruding teeth, and teeth that do not come together in a normal manner or at all.

The role of a trusted dentist goes far beyond routine dental check-ups and cleaning. For instance, those looking for comprehensive dental services, including early orthodontic treatment, may choose to visit a well-regarded Saskatoon dental office. These dental professionals are not only skilled in identifying the need for early orthodontic intervention but also in setting the foundation for a healthy, beautiful smile.

The Ideal Age for an Orthodontic Evaluation

Professional organizations recommend that children should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven. By this age, enough permanent teeth have erupted, and enough jaw growth has occurred that orthodontists can identify current or upcoming problems.

Types of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Different types of appliances can be used in early orthodontics, depending on the child’s issues. These include fixed appliances like braces, which can be used to correct tooth alignment, and removable appliances that can help in guiding the growth of the jaw and assist with habits such as thumb-sucking.

Fixed Appliances

  • Traditional Braces: The most common form of fixed appliance.

  • Special Braces: Developed to focus on specific alignment or crowding issues.

Removable Appliances

  • Expanders: Used to widen the arch of the mouth.

  • Space Maintainers: Preserve space for future permanent teeth.

  • Aligners: Typically used for minor adjustments in older children.

Orthodontic care is not limited to any age group. While early treatment focuses on children and teenagers, adults too can benefit from orthodontic procedures that improve dental function and aesthetic appeal. These tailored treatments can enhance the quality of life for patients by improving their ability to chew, speak, and maintain oral hygiene.

Life After Early Treatment

After early orthodontic treatment, some children may still need full braces or additional aligners once most of their permanent teeth come in. However, this phase of treatment is often more straightforward since the major issues have already been addressed.

Do’s and Don’ts During Early Orthodontic Treatment


  • Maintain regular check-ups with your orthodontist.

  • Encourage and help your child with proper oral hygiene.

  • Stick to a healthy diet, avoiding sugary and hard foods.

  • Wear any orthodontic appliances as instructed.


  • Miss scheduled appointments or delay treatments.

  • Let your child get discouraged if progress seems slow.

  • Ignore instructions for appliances or braces care.

  • Forget to celebrate milestones in the treatment process.

Wrapping Up

While early orthodontic treatment involves time, effort, and investment, the payoff is substantial. Improving oral health, functionality, and appearance at a young age sets the stage for a lifetime of benefits. Those with well-aligned teeth not only enjoy a better quality of life but also face fewer dental complications as they age. By investing in early orthodontic care, parents are providing their children with the keys to a happy, healthy smile for years to come.