All children should visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; even though you might think they have straight teeth, your child could be dealing with a malocclusion that could impact them forever. If caught early, braces could adjust the bite allowing for straight teeth and a correct occlusion.
Correcting an occlusion is easier to accomplish during the growing years instead of waiting to consult an orthodontist when your child reaches the teen years or beyond. Problems like teeth overcrowding can create an overbite or under bite. An orthodontist can use tools like dental x-rays, photographs, and dental impressions to determine, as well as demonstrate, what problems your child could face without early intervention.
If treated during the growth period, the palate can be expanded to accommodate the expected teeth; the jaw is much easier to “work with” when the patient has not reached full bone maturity. If you wait, treatment can take much longer and may require more elaborate procedures.
There are preventative steps to be taken for your child such as discouraging thumb sucking and taking away the pacifier by two years of age … both of these habits can contribute to a dental malocclusion.
Early orthodontic intervention does not necessarily preclude the need for additional treatment. As permanent teeth erupt like third molars (commonly known as wisdom teeth), the patient might seek to have them extracted so as not to interfere with their occlusion. Wisdom teeth are the last to erupt, and don’t usually come in until the later teen years.
A successful orthodontic program for a child involves a responsible caregiver … children require supervision for such things as wearing bands as needed; brushing; flossing; making sure the child keeps all periodic orthodontic visits; and most importantly, wearing the retainer for the prescribed time so teeth can develop a memory that will hold them in place as the child grows.
To learn more about the services we offer, or to schedule an orthodontic consultation, contact our friendly team today.