Malocclusion is not entirely predictable, and it's not necessarily avoidable. However, with regular dental checkups and early orthodontic evaluation and treatment, your child may be able to avoid needing treatment in the future.
Dental Check Ups
A dentist should examine your child’s baby and permanent teeth as they grow in. Check ups should take place every 6 months, just as they do for adults; they're 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.
Along with a good hygiene routine at home, regular dental cleaning appointments will help keep primary teeth healthy. Primary teeth may fall out eventually, but they're still very important to dental health because they act as placeholders and guides for the permanent teeth as they erupt. If the primary teeth fall out too early as a result of decay, it could cause the permanent teeth to grow into the wrong positions.
It’s important that children attend regular dental checkups and cleanings, so that they can avoid having to go through orthodontic treatment later in life.
Early Orthodontic Intervention
The recommendation of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists is that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than at the age of 7. In certain cases, even children as young as 2 or 3 can benefit from early evaluation.
Early evaluation will allow the orthodontist to identify problems while they're still developing, and implement Early Interceptive Treatment (also known as Phase I Treatment).
Early treatment, typically comes in the form of palatal expanders, space maintainers, TADs, or partial braces. It can can make a significant impact on whether your child will eventually need braces, and on how long treatment will take.