When should a child start seeing an orthodontist?
There is no definitive age for children to see an orthodontist as everyone’s teeth age (mature) at different rates, however most children’s teeth have matured enough by the age of 7 to see an orthodontist. One of the most important considerations for any parent contemplating orthodontic treatment for their child is that diagnosing and correcting problems earlier in life can prevent more serious problems, and potentially save money in the future. So let’s get started!
Why is early treatment important?
Making the choice to have your child treated early allows Dr. Lewis to correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw, actively preventing problems in their teen and adult years. Additionally, it helps your child's adult teeth come in the way they should, effectively avoiding longer and more expensive treatment options. Early treatment also allows Dr. Lewis to create more space for crowded teeth, regulate the width of the upper and lower arches, corrects thumb sucking, and sometimes minor speech problems. In many cases it will also help your child escape tooth extractions when they are older. Because the of the many benefits of treatment while they are still young, it’s advisable to bring your child in for a consultation as early as possible to effectively correct and resolve any issues while they are still growing.
How do I know if my child needs treatment?
Although only an orthodontist can fully determine if your child needs treatment, there are a few things you can watch for to help you decide to make an appointment. Some of the things a parent should look for include thumb sucking, trouble biting or chewing, breathing from their mouth (not their nose), misplaced teeth, crowded teeth (particularly front teeth), teeth or jaws that are disproportionate to the face, teeth that won’t come together or come together asymmetrically, and blocked teeth. It’s also important to pay attention to early or late loss of baby teeth, either can be an important sign that your child needs an orthodontist. In some cases a child's jaw may even make a popping noise when it’s opened and closed. Please remember these signs and symptoms are only a guide and you can always rely on Dr. Lewis to give you a recommendation on treatment plans and options when it’s necessary.
Call Lewis Orthodontics and give your child a smile they can be confident about early on.