The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention

Mar 3, 2022 | General Dentistry

We love working with children, to give them a healthier set of teeth they can feel proud of showing off in the future. Orthodontic problems like misalignment of the jaw and teeth, crowded teeth and spacing issues can all cause a dip in your child’s confidence and disturb certain functions like chewing and speaking.

Why might my child need a brace?

The only way to decide if your child needs a brace is to bring them in an exam or consultation. There are a few things you can look out for:
– Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth.
– Difficulty with chewing or biting.
– Crowded teeth.
– Jaws that shift or make a clicking noise when your child eats or opens their mouth.
– Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth.
– Teeth that don’t meet correctly when your child bites down.
– Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of your face.

Bite and structural problems with your child’s teeth and jaw can occur at any stage of their dental development. We recommend bringing your child in for regular dentist check-ups from when their first tooth comes through. Should your child’s dentist notice any cause for concern, they can refer them to one of our experienced clinicians and treatment coordinators, who can assess their teeth thoroughly.

At Shields, our patient and friendly clinicians and treatment coordinators can create a tailored orthodontic plan, designed to address your child’s unique needs. Here are some of the benefits of early orthodontic intervention.

Early identification

When you bring your child in to see us here at Shields, it will be the first opportunity to identify any critical issues with how their mouth and jaw is developing. In many cases, intervening early can save the need for what might be much more complex treatment (and in some cases surgery) in the future.


Improves confidence levels

It’s completely normal for children to suffer from self-esteem and confidence levels as they grow older and as all adults know, the school playground can be a cruel place. Crooked teeth can be the root of your child’s insecurities with their appearance and it can exacerbate other insecurities.

Every child deserves to feel great about their teeth and smile, and braces allow them to grow their confidence as they graduate towards their older years.


Improves speech clarity

When a child has difficulty speaking, people often don’t link this up to their teeth. Poorly aligned teeth and jaws can have a big impact on speech, causing impediments like lisps, slurring and mispronunciation problems (namely with the letters ‘s’ and ‘t’). With braces, we can correct the alignment of your child’s jaw and teeth and this is best done whilst they are still in the developmental stage. Treating speech impediments can also help your child to speak more confidently in public and can encourage them to be more vocal in conversations, presentations and debates at school.


Lowers the risk of tooth decay

Straighter teeth make brushing and flossing much easier as there’s more surface area available to clean. As children are very susceptible to tooth decay, normally because of their penchant for high sugar foods (decay accounts for a huge proportion of hospitalisations each year), it’s important that they’re able to clean their teeth in the most efficient way. Braces can healthily align your children’s teeth, so that food particles aren’t allowed to linger and cause decay and in severe circumstances, tooth loss.


Reduces tooth grinding

A misaligned jaw can give way to teeth grinding, and if left untreated this can cause unpleasant symptoms including headaches and neck aches. As well as affecting everyday activities and concentration, tooth grinding can cause tooth wear, which may require restorative treatment in the future. With braces, it’s possible to gently shift your child’s jaw back into the optimal position, relieving them of uncomfortable symptoms, making for a happier and healthier future.


Leads to better digestion

With straighter teeth and aligned jaws, your child will be able to chew their food more effectively, thus improving their digestion. Structural problems with their teeth and jaw can make it easy for them to avoid breaking their food down into small and more manageable chunks. Once their ability is restored, your child’s digestion will get better for the long term.


Experienced professionals who are here to help

At Shields, you can expect your child to be in the most competent and experienced of hands. The team regularly undertake further training, so as to offer young patients (and indeed patients of all ages) the best of care.

We’re people people – we love to get to know you and your child, so we can deliver the right treatment and the most predictable outcome. We very much enjoy encouraging and inspiring kids to believe in the treatment journey and to stay positive throughout the brace-wearing period. We’re also here to help support parents to support their kids, as they start their journey to a healthier and more aesthetic set of teeth.


Contact us

Here at Shields, we’re open 7 days a week to accommodate our patients’ busy lives. Perhaps you’ve got a question about treatment, you’d like to spread the cost of treatment, or you’re just looking for more information on how orthodontic treatment can help your child? Our treatment coordinators are available for FREE consultations in person at our Castletroy, Limerick or Roscrea dental practices. We’re also well-situated for patients living in the Blackrock area.

Simply call us on 061 480070 or fill out a contact form if you would like to book your child in for an orthodontic consultation with our friendly team.

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