Early treatment involves the use of interceptive orthodontic care that begins during the childhood years. A variety of orthodontic appliances may be appropriate for interceptive care.
Orthodontists are constantly aware that "there are hidden pitfalls associated with interceptive treatment that may include long treatment times, maintenance of appliances, inability to accurately anticipate the changes associated with dentofacial growth and development, and the necessity to closely monitor treatment progress to avoid irreversible occlusal changes while evaluating treatment response." - Joondeph DR. Early orthodontic treatment. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 1993;104(2):199-200.
Given the hidden pitfalls associated with early treatment, it is important that your clinician has a solid understanding of jaw relationships and growth patterns in order to appropriately manage problems during the childhood years.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation be conducted at the first sign of orthodontic (jaw or teeth) problems.
Alternately, this evaluation should be conducted no later than 7 years of age.
At this young age, your specialist orthodontist will be able to advise whether treatment is needed and anticipate the most effective age for treatment to commence.
Once appropriately informed, parents will be empowered to schedule treatment as needed for their child.