Many children will need to get braces to correct a crooked smile at some point in their lives. While some parents may think it’s necessary to wait until the child’s baby teeth are gone before orthodontic treatment can start, that’s not the case at all.
In fact, it’s recommended that children be initially evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7, at which time they may still have some of their primary teeth.
Although a child may not get braces until a few years later, this initial orthodontic evaluation can help to pinpoint any problems that are likely to develop and even prevent those problems to avoid the need for intensive treatments at a later date. In some cases, orthodontic evaluation in younger children can even render braces unnecessary at all.
Even if the child’s teeth appear to be straight, the orthodontist may be able to predict problems that are likely to develop in the future. For example, signs of irregular jaw growth may be present, and with an early intervention, the jaw’s growth can be manipulated to overcome those congenital patterns.
This initial evaluation will be painless for your child, as well. You can reassure a child who tends to be fearful of dental visits that the orthodontist will only examine the smile and maybe take a few x-rays.
If no problems are identified at that first appointment, the specialist still will have baseline measurements of your child’s smile and can monitor your child for any changes that could warrant a treatment of some sort.
Don’t feel that you have to wait for your child’s baby teeth to fall out before you can explore orthodontic treatment. Your child can be evaluated for treatment before that time, and such early intervention may eliminate the need for more bothersome treatment in the future.
If your child is approaching his or her 7th birthday, call our office at 210-921-9191 to schedule a consultation with one of our expert practitioners.