Early orthodontic treatment can have many benefits when needed. The timely diagnosis and treatment of many orthodontic disharmonies that affect occlusion and function, creates favorable conditions for the future development of the teeth and jaws. In addition, the space in the dental arches that will accommodate the permanent teeth can also be managed in a more favorable way. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (www.braces.org) all kids should see an orthodontist before age seven.
There is, however, an additional advantage to seeking early orthodontic treatment. It concerns the aesthetic improvement of a kid’s smile and the psychological impact an orthodontic treatment can have on their body image.
Some kids feel uncomfortable with the way their teeth look, either due to their own perception, or due to negative feedback the may have been exposed to in their school environment. Sometimes they may compare themselves to their peers. When a child adopts a negative body image, it can have an impact on their confidence. The negative and many times unexpressed feelings, may cause kids to develop poor social skills and even loose motivation for learning.
Kids beam with pride when you say how tall they’ve grown or how good they look in their new haircut. They smile a lot more when they realize their beautiful and healthy smile. An early orthodontic treatment can improve not only their health, but also the body image they form about themselves as they grow up. Building up their confidence can increase their motivation, a very important ingredient to success.
I would like to express my gratitude to my little friend in the picture who shared with me in the sweetest way how orthodontic treatment affected her life in only one year. The smile of a child is a true blessing and the biggest source of inspiration for an orthodontist!
Gina Theodoridis D.M.D.
Specialist in Orthodontics
Addendum: the title “orthodontic specialist” belongs to doctors who exclusively practice in the field of orthodontics, in which they have specialized in an accredited orthodontic university program in Greece or abroad, for at least three years. Orthodontic specialists in Greece can use this title only after completing a successful examination at the Greek Ministry of Health.
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