Even though most parents think middle school is the right time to take their kids to meet the orthodontist, there are good reasons why children should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner.
In fact, The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommend that each child should have their first orthodontic examination by no later than age 7.
“At the age of seven, children will have encountered some permanent dental eruption,” explains Dr. Michelle Couto of Burnaby Heights Orthodontics and Fraser Valley Orthodontics. “We can see how their dentition is developing during an early orthodontic assessment.”
Dr. Michelle Couto. Photo: Mike Wakefield Photography.
Dr. Couto has been practicing as a certified orthodontist for over 10 years and is currently practicing as a Burnaby orthodontist at Burnaby Heights Orthodontics and as a Langley orthodontist at Fraser Valley Orthodontics.
From unraveling complex crowding and treating bite problem cases, Dr. Couto works with patients of all ages and knows that a beautiful smile can have a positive impact on one’s life.
With regards to orthodontics for children, there are a number of good reasons why starting early treatment with a pediatric orthodontist is best.
- Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth, which is best noted when both permanent and primary teeth are present (otherwise referred to as mixed dentition).
- The orthodontist may identify a developing problem and recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development and beginning early treatment at an appropriate time later on.
- In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaw have finished growing.
- Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and make treatment at a later age shorter and less complex.
- For a more extensive list, early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to help your child by:
- Guiding permanent teeth and jaw growth
- Lowering the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correcting harmful oral habits
- Improving the way the lips meet
- Avoiding extraction of permanent teeth
Through early orthodontic work, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy and beautiful smile!
Photo: Getty Images.
Orthodontic treatment in adulthood can have a positive impact on overall health, with treatments such as braces and Invisalign offering many benefits to adults.
“Self esteem is the most obvious benefit, but functionality of your dentition is of the utmost importance,” says Dr. Couto. “Having the proper occlusion (or ‘bite’) reduces the risks of potentially encountering issues with food processing, food swallowing, and breathing.”
When it comes to recommending either treatment to adult patients, each patient is evaluated independently and there are a multitude of factors that aid orthodontists in determining the proper course of treatment, including the patient’s bite and teeth crowding.
“A patient's compliance with the treatment is also important,” adds Dr. Couto. “It takes discipline and determination to wear a removable appliance like Invisalign — they have to be willing to put in the work.”
Dr. Couto sees a direct correlation between straight smiles and self-esteem in her clinic’s patients.
“In adult patients, I continuously hear ‘Why didn't I do this sooner?” shares Dr. Couto. “Once they have undergone treatment, their confidence skyrockets, they approach people differently, and they smile first.”
“As for kids and teens, they literally change in the chair,” Dr. Couto continues. “They have the confidence to smile, to brighten the room, and to not be afraid. It’s the absolute best outcome to see!”
Schedule an orthodontic examination today! For Burnaby braces and Burnaby Invisalign treatments, visit burnabyheightsorthodontics.com. For Langley braces and Langley Invisalign treatments, visit fraservalleyorthodontics.com.