Early Orthodontic Treatment in Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata & Excelsior, MN.

At Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics, we are committed to making you smile, no matter what. We want to get to know you, understand your smile goals, and work with your needs to make sure your treatment is comfortable, convenient and effective. Whether we’re treating something small or working with you on something more comprehensive, our team strives to make your visit to Lake Minnetonka Ortho the best part of your day.

What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit the orthodontist by age 7. By this age, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and jaws. Early orthodontic treatment is designed to help young children who still have some or all of their primary teeth. The goal is to intercept a potential orthodontic issue as it develops, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and create enough space for incoming permanent teeth.

The three most common types of early interceptive orthodontic treatment are: palatal expanders, partial braces, or a retainer. Although treatment at an early age may not be necessary, using orthodontic monitoring allows us to plan the ideal timeline for effective treatment and prevent serious problems from occurring. Our orthodontic monitoring appointments are scheduled every 6 to 12 months and are provided free of charge.

What Are the Benefits
of Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment has major advantages. Some of them include:

  • Reducing the need for later tooth removal
  • Guiding jaw growth and correcting bite issues
  • Preventing erupting teeth from becoming crowded
  • Preserving space for permanent teeth to erupt
  • Reducing future orthodontic treatment time
  • Ensuring proper chewing and biting
  • Nixing poor oral habits, like thumb sucking or tongue thrust
  • Preventing or intercepting developing skeletal problems (this is often the best way to fix an underbite, severe overbite, crossbite, or other jaw-related concerns)
  • Reducing the risk of protruding front teeth breaking or chipping
  • Minimizing the need for corrective jaw surgery or extractions
  • Helping with speech and breathing
  • Creating facial symmetry and improves appearance

What Problems Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Address?

There are many orthodontic problems that are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in. However, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem could become more serious over time if left untreated.

Here are some conditions that can be helped by interceptive orthodontic treatment:

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth
  • Crossbites – when the top teeth are inside of the lower ones
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Extra or missing teeth

After an initial check-up, there are generally three potential outcomes: the first is that no treatment is expected to be necessary.  The second, is that there are potential trouble spots that need monitoring and may need treatment in the future. The third is that there is a problem that needs immediate correction with early treatment. Our experts can help determine the best course of action and make a plan to monitor development to ensure your child gets the right treatment for their specific needs.

Is My Child a Candidate for Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment?

You may be able to tell if your child is going to need orthodontic treatment in the future, but going to an orthodontist can help you determine whether they would benefit from interceptive orthodontic treatment while their teeth and jaws are still developing. Here are a few signs that can help you determine if your child may require treatment:

  • Overcrowded or Crooked Teeth
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Issues Chewing
  • Abnormal Tooth Loss
  • Finger/Thumb Sucking
  • Difficulty Speaking

Start Early Orthodontic Treatment at Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Today

Addressing orthodontic issues while your child’s teeth are still falling out and coming in may seem counterintuitive, but this period provides an opportunity to address problems before they arise. Early orthodontics can prevent an alignment problem from developing at all, or stop a problem before it becomes severe.

Our experts can help determine if your child is a candidate for early orthodontic intervention and help decide the best possible treatment options. With orthodontic monitoring, we can plan the ideal timeline for effective treatment and prevent serious problems from occurring, or even decide that treatment at an early age may not be necessary. Schedule an appointment to find out more about our early treatment options today!