When Should a Child See an Orthodontist?
As your Smithtown orthodontist, we know there is no greater joy than watching your child grow up smiling. All parents should know their options to best care for their child’s happy, beautiful smile. Braces are an important rite of passage in a child’s life, giving children the benefit of straight teeth, improved self-confidence and healthier smiles. However, it can get a bit confusing when you’re trying to understand the process of orthodontics for your child. When should your child see an orthodontist? Do they need to start treatment right away? The questions are enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.
Why Age 7 Matters
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child have their first orthodontic visit by age 7, which may surprise you. Although your child’s mouth is still developing, it’s easier to intervene if certain problems are already present. Dr. Smith can see how your child’s mouth is taking shape and take the necessary steps to ensure correct development. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious treatment as a child grows older and save you and your child time and money down the road. In short, early detection is the best protection!
Some issues that can often be detected by age 7 are:
- Bite issues: underbites, crossbites, etc.
- Problems caused by excessive thumb sucking
- Teeth grinding
- Mouth breathing
- A narrow jaw
- The number of teeth coming in
Intercepting these problems at a young age can prevent more invasive treatment like tooth extractions and jaw surgery, which are often necessary to treat severe orthodontic problems once a child’s permanent teeth are fully grown in. If you notice any signs that these issues may be developing, it’s a good time to have your child see an orthodontist.
Keep in mind that early screening doesn’t mean treatment must start right away. In fact, most children don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they’re 9 to 14 years old. However, North Shore Orthodontics offers complimentary consultations, allowing you to get all the facts and make the best decision for your child at an early age. If your child is 7 or older, why not bring your child to see an orthodontist today? Schedule a free consult with Dr. Smith here or give us a call at 631-265-3435.