Early Treatment

Orthodontic Problems.

Did you know that starting orthodontic treatment at an early age can have lifelong benefits? Not only will your son or daughter reveal a bright, beautiful smile at a younger age, but it can also prevent serious oral problems from developing. Starting early may even shorten the overall treatment time if braces are needed. The team at Blooming Smiles, your local Northridge and Woodland Hills orthodontic experts, follows the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists and encourages children to have a pre-screening at age seven. 

When Does Treatment Start?

An early evaluation may not necessarily mean treatment needs to begin immediately. In many cases our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Payam A. Sanjideh, may simply monitor the growth patterns in your child’s teeth and gums to determine the best time to begin treatment. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible results, and Dr. Sanjideh will work closely with you to ensure all potential problems are addressed in an efficient, comprehensive manner. 

Benefits Of Early Treatment

Early treatment often begins between the ages of 9-14. By this stage, most of the permanent teeth are in place and easily maneuverable into ideal placement. It is the perfect starting point to begin a lifetime of healthy oral care. Some children may suffer from severe problems or have bad habits like thumb sucking or mouth breathing. In these cases, early treatment is highly recommended. Contact Blooming Smiles if you have noticed any of the following problems with your child’s teeth:

Crossbite.One is severe crossbite, a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. To treat this problem, a device called a palatal expander can be used, which gradually and painlessly widens the upper jaw; it's especially effective when the jaw itself hasn't fully developed. If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment — or even oral surgery — might be required to correct the problem.


Crowding.Another condition that may benefit from early treatment is severe crowding. This occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Either palatal expansion or tooth extraction may be recommended at this point, to help the adult teeth erupt (emerge from below the gums) properly. Even if braces are required later, the treatment time will likely be shorter and less complicated.


Protruding teeth.Early intervention may also be helpful in resolving several other problems. Protruding teeth, especially in front, can be prone to chipping and fractures; they may also lead to problems with a child's self-image. A severe underbite, caused by the lower jaw growing much larger than the upper jaw, can result in serious bite problems. Orthodontic appliances, including braces and headgear, can be successfully used to correct these problems at this stage, when the child's development is in full swing, thereby increasing the chances that surgery can be avoided.

Correcting Bad Habits

 Dangers of Thumb Sucking.

At one time or another, anyone may pick up a bad habit. But there are some situations where a youngster's parafunctional (detrimental to health) habits can actually influence the development and function of his or her teeth, jaws and mouth. Some examples of these are persistent thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing.

The sucking reflex is natural in early childhood; it usually disappears between ages 2 and 4. But if it persists much later, the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw can actually cause the teeth to move apart and the jaws to change shape. This can lead to the orthodontic problem called “open bite,” and may impair speech. An open bite can also be caused by the force of the tongue pushing forward against the teeth (tongue thrusting).

Mouth breathing — an abnormal breathing pattern in which the mouth always remains open, passing air directly to the lungs — is related to alterations in the muscular function of the tongue and face. It may cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, which can lead to serious orthodontic problems. Although mouth breathing may start from a physical difficulty, it can become a habitual action that's hard to break.

Various orthodontic treatments are available to help correct these parafunctional habits — and the sooner they're taken care of, the less damage they may cause. But these potential problems aren't always easy to recognize. That's one more reason why you should bring your child in for an early orthodontic screening.

Correcting Bad Habits

To schedule a pre-screening appointment with Dr. Sanjideh, contact the team at Blooming Smiles today. We look forward to helping your child achieve a straight, healthy smile for life. Call us today at our Woodland Hills office at (818) 932-9100 or our Northridge office at (818) 727-1800. One of our helpful, friendly staff members will assist you in any way they can. We look forward to hearing from you soon!