Do you think your child might need braces or another form of orthodontic treatment? Here, we’ll explain why your child might need orthodontics, when you should bring them in to be evaluated, and what to expect at their orthodontic consultation.
There are a large number of reasons that your child might need orthodontics. These include overcrowded teeth, a misaligned bite (either an overbite, underbite, or crossbite), overlapping teeth, gapped teeth, and/or crooked teeth. These traits are often inherited so if you had braces or other orthodontic appliances, chances are your child will need them too. However, your child might need them even if you didn’t, especially if they have jaw issues from losing their baby teeth too soon, if they sucked their thumb past the age of three, or if they have suffered any accidents or trauma to their teeth.
By the time your child is seven years old, you should take them to the orthodontist to be evaluated. Often, your child’s dentist will tell you whether they think your child should get an evaluation from an orthodontist, but it is still a good idea to get your child checked out around age seven anyway. Seven is generally the right age to see an orthodontist because the permanent teeth have started to come in. Depending upon the treatment that your child might need, orthodontists may not immediately start your child on a treatment plan. Before braces are placed, preventive care may be the only recommendation until all of their adult teeth grow in. While seven is the recommended time to see an orthodontist for the first time, you can take your child or teen at any point. Adults can even receive orthodontic treatment with great success!
The first thing the orthodontist will do is examine your child’s teeth, jaw, and mouth to check alignment and see how your child’s bite looks. The orthodontist will also ask whether your child experiences any pain or clicking in their jaw and if they’ve had issues swallowing or chewing when they eat. They also might take X-rays of your child’s teeth to see how the teeth are positioned and how yet-to-come-in teeth might be aligned once they erupt. If they believe some type of treatment will be needed, your child’s orthodontist may take a mold or impression of their teeth in order to further determine which treatment will be best for your child's smile.
Here at Ammons Dental By Design, we offer a variety of orthodontic options, including traditional braces, Invisalign® clear aligner therapy, and Periodontally Accelerated Osteo Orthodontics. If you have any questions or if you think your child might benefit from orthodontic treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment.