Knowing when and if your child should visit the orthodontist isn’t always easy. In many cases, parents may think that if teeth are straight, everything is good. However, along with visits to the pediatrician, eye doctor and dentist, a trip to the orthodontist should be on every child’s health care checklist.
But, when is the right time to go?
The team at Associated Orthodontists, together with the American Association of Orthodontists, recommends that all children have a consultation no later than the age of seven — the optimal time to assess the structure of the jaw, placement of erupting teeth and need for possible orthodontics in the future. With early intervention, an orthodontist can help correct significant problems with a simpler, more effective treatment for the patient.
In addition to following the “Age 7” guideline, parents can also watch for these orthodontic problems in their children’s mouth:
- Premature or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Speech difficulties
- Biting the cheek or tongue
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Not all cases will require immediate orthodontic intervention. In this situation, orthodontists will monitor the patient’s development at regular office visits and will determine the appropriate time for treatment if needed.
Is it time for your child’s first orthodontic visit? Associated Orthodontists offers complimentary consultations, in addition to complimentary observation appointments. Visit greatbraces.com/consult to schedule your appointment today. You’ll receive a personal meeting with one of our highly-trained orthodontists, plus a comprehensive exam.