Below are some things to consider when deciding when to take your children to an orthodontist in order to catch potential oral issues early.
At what age should an orthodontist see my child?
The American and Canadian Association of Orthodontists, as well as Dr. Jensen, recommend that your child be evaluated by age seven. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take corrective action and avoid more difficult and expensive treatment later. Most patients, however, are treated during adolescence, between the ages of 10-12, or after 21 years of age.
Why should I be concerned about a bad bite or misfit of my teeth or my child’s teeth?
Bad bites can be detrimental to a patient’s dental health by causing premature wear on the teeth, asymmetrical jaw growth, jaw joint malfunction, pain, difficulty in chewing and maintaining good oral hygiene, stomach upsets, arthritic jaw joints, and bad breath. Orthodontic treatment will align the teeth and jaws for optimum function, hygiene, appearance, and improved self-esteem and confidence.
Should I delay orthodontic treatment until my child is older?
This is not recommended. If your child needs early treatment, this usually means that he or she has a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long-term stability may be compromised. In addition, delays may lead to extractions of permanent teeth, oral and/or jaw surgery, and increased costs.
That old saying – wait for all the baby teeth to fall out or wait for all of the permanent teeth to erupt before seeking orthodontic care – does not hold true since some baby teeth don’t want to “fall out” without some help. In other cases, permanent teeth are heading in the wrong direction, even inside the jaw. In those instances, some baby teeth need to be removed early in order to facilitate normal eruption and alignment of the new permanent (adult) teeth, especially in early developers, i.e. children with an accelerated biological time-clock that is ahead of their chronological (birthday) time-clock by as much as three years. That is why it is important to see these children by the age of seven and take a panoramic X-ray so that appropriate and timely preventative treatment can be implemented.
Children’s dental care is specialized, as many conditions benefit from early treatment. Contact us today for a free consultation.