Tween – a word used by J.R.R. Tolkien to refer to Hobbits in their twenties – is today’s modern term for pre-adolescent children. Referring to children between the ages of eight and twelve – tweens make up a large portion of orthodontic patients, as dentists and parents strive to head off minor bite concerns before they become more involved and require lengthier treatment solutions.
What is Early Orthodontics?
Family Dentist at Ranchlands Dental Clinic in NW Calgary provide orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages, and explain that patients in a certain age group sometimes benefit from early intervention that can help correct the first signs of a bad bite. Early orthodontics doesn’t always refer to a patient wearing full orthodontic braces, as there are several orthodontic appliances that can be used to help modify growth deficiencies and excesses, prior to braces going on. Bite problems, such as a narrow upper arch can be addressed with the use of an arch expander – an appliance that is custom designed to widen the arch, improving size and form. Correcting this type of issue early in a child’s development can help reduce the amount of orthodontic treatment required as a teenager, and also improve a child’s speech and chewing in the short term and help create enough space for adult teeth to erupt.
Signs Your Tween May Need Orthodontic Care
Most parents are diligent about bringing their children to the dentist for routine exams and cleanings. During a dental exam the dentist evaluates and monitors a child’s bite, noting any abnormalities. But there are signs that a parent can look out for that may indicate the need for orthodontic care.
Difficulty chewing and adaptation to close or open the mouth (shifting of the jaw)
Upper and lower teeth that don’t come together properly
Late or early tooth loss
Crowding of teeth – especially front teeth
These are just some potential signs that may give a hint that your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment – a full diagnosis is always recommended to fully determine exact treatment needs.
All procedures performed by General Dentists