Early Treatment

Braces & Invisalign in Minneapolis, MN

At Meister Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients throughout St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the greater Twin Cities area achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through quality orthodontic treatment. We offer a wide range of treatment options including both traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners, and our Minneapolis orthodontist, Dr. Meister designs personalized treatment plans to fit the lifestyles of our patients. We treat patients of all ages at our office – and sometimes, the best way to achieve a great smile is to start treatment early.

When Should My Child See the Orthodontist?

One of the most important parts of achieving a healthy smile is starting treatment at the right time, and in keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial consultation at age 7. This may seem early, but at this age, the back bite is fully established, allowing our Minneapolis orthodontist to identify both current and potential future orthodontic problems. Most of the time, we'll simply monitor your child's growth until the proper time to start treatment – but in some cases, we may recommend starting treatment at this early age.

Why Would My Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Keep in mind that while we perform an orthodontic evaluation at age 7, we won't necessarily start treatment right away. However, there are a handful of orthodontic conditions where early treatment is far more effective and convenient. This is because during childhood, the bones of the upper jaw haven't fused together yet, allowing us to use orthodontic appliances or Invisalign First aligners to guide jaw development and create more room in the smile. If your child does need early treatment, it could save them from extensive, costly procedures later in life.

The Benefits of Early Treatment

While it's not necessary for everyone, early orthodontic treatment can have dramatic benefits for certain patients. Here are just a few of the advantages of interceptive treatment:

  • Painlessly create room for crowded teeth without the need for extraction
  • Influence jaw growth to improve facial symmetry
  • Correct protruding front teeth to reduce the risk of trauma
  • Hold open space for unerupted teeth
  • Reduce the overall amount of time in braces
  • Prevent costly procedures later on

Does My Child Need Early Orthodontics?

While it's vital for some patients, early treatment isn't necessary for everyone. Generally, children with certain malocclusions – particularly those affecting jaw alignment – can benefit from early treatment. That said, there's no way to know if your child needs early treatment by looks alone. Only an orthodontic evaluation with a board-certified orthodontist can determine if your child would benefit from early treatment.

Why Should I Treat Malocclusions?

If left untreated, malocclusions can have a range of adverse effects over the course of your child's life. Severe crowding makes teeth more difficult to keep clean, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease, while crossbite can impair jaw growth and cause problems like TMJ later on. Protruding front teeth are at a far higher risk of dental trauma, and certain childhood habits like tongue-thrusting or prolonged thumb-sucking can lead to openbite, which impairs speech and bite function. Untreated malocclusions can have severe negative effects on both your child's smile and quality of life – which is why it's so important to schedule an orthodontic consultation to see if your child needs treatment.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Minneapolis Orthodontist

Early treatment can help limit the amount of time your child spends in treatment and help them achieve the best smile possible, but the only way to know if your child needs treatment is through an orthodontic evaluation. Take the first step to putting your child on the path to a better smile: request an appointment online with us today. Feel free to contact us directly as well if you have any questions or concerns. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping your child achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime!