Malocclusion isn't necessarily predictable or avoidable. However, with regular dental checkups and early orthodontic evaluation and (in some cases) treatment, your child may be able to avoid needing treatment in the future.
Dental Check Ups
Your child’s baby and permanent teeth should be examined regularly by a dentist as they grow in. Check ups should take place at least every 6 months, the same as for adults. Checkups are important for identifying and avoiding malocclusion problems as or before they develop, since the dentist will be able to monitor your child’s development, and determine if orthodontic intervention is necessary.
Combined with a good hygiene routine at home, regular dental cleaning appointments will also help keep your child's primary teeth healthy. Primary teeth are, of course, destined to fall out eventually, making many parents think they're not that important. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Healthy primary teeth are very important to long-term dental health because they act as placeholders and guides for the permanent teeth as they erupt. If your child's primary teeth fall out too early as a result of decay, the permanent teeth may erupt into the wrong positions, resulting in the need for orthodontic treatment.
Early Orthodontic Intervention
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by no later than at the age of 7. Sometimes even children as young as 2 or 3 can benefit from early evaluation.
Much like early regular dental check ups and cleanings, early orthodontic evaluation allows the orthodontist to identify problems while they're still developing, and then implement Early Interceptive Treatment (also known as Phase I Treatment).
Early treatment, which typically comes in the form of palatal expanders, space maintainers, TADs, or partial braces, can can make a significant impact on whether your child will eventually need braces, and on how long treatment will take.