Every Child Should See an Orthodontist
Starting at age 7. At this stage in your child’s development, the orthodontist will be able to see if your child needs treatment or not. The sooner orthodontic problems are detected, the faster and less difficult the treatment is.
Early orthodontic treatment starts around the age of 8 or 9. At this age, the main goal of the treatment is to correct the jaw growth and some of the bite problems (for example, underbite). Such an early stage treatment would make some space for permanent teeth to erupt correctly, with preventing the possibility of needing tooth extractions later. Second phase treatment should start at the age of 11 or older.
Signs Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment
- Late or early tooth loss. The first tooth should fall out at the age of five and by the age of 13, your child should have all of his permanent teeth.
- Strenuous biting or chewing
- Breathing through the mouth
- After age of 5, your child still sucks his thumb
- Difficulty while speaking
- Teeth protrusion (The top teeth are extended from the bottom teeth)
- Teeth don’t fit together in a normal way
- Jaw shifting while opening or closing the mouth
- Around the age of 7-8, your child has crowded teeth
Causes of Orthodontic Problems
Spaced or crowded teeth, incorrect jaw growth, teeth protrusion, irregular bites can be inherited from the parents or caused by:
- Injuries and traumas
- Late or early tooth loss
- Thumb sucking
Benefits of Early Prevention
By the age of 13, your child should have lost all of their baby teeth. At the end of the teen years, the jaw will stop growing and harden. If orthodontic problems are left untreated until the adult age, it may require surgery or tooth extraction in the later treatment. Early orthodontic treatment may prevent further orthodontic treatment in the future at the adult age and lessen the chances of the need for tooth extraction or surgery.
Orthodontic Screening at the Age of 7
You may ask why age 7? It is because at this age your child will already have erupted permanent front teeth and first molars. If there would be any inadequate spacing between them, the problem might result in impacted teeth. With orthodontic screening at the age of 7, the orthodontist will be able to determine the jaw growth problems, spaced or crowded teeth, cross bite, protrusion of the teeth. Moreover, the dentist will recognize teeth eruption problems. The orthodontic screening will help you to know if the treatment is even necessary and determine what time is the best to start your child’s treatment.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Screening
Children who receive orthodontic treatment at such an early stage have an opportunity to direct jaw growth, control the width of the dental arches, guide permanent teeth to erupt in desirable positions, lessen the chances of injuries and traumas of protruded front teeth. Moreover, you will be able to eliminate atypical swallowing, speech difficulties, bad oral habits like thumb sucking, which may cause open bite and other teeth misalignments. What’s more, orthodontic treatment may increase your child’s self-esteem and improve the appearance of their smile. An early orthodontic screening will solve the impacted teeth problem and simplify or even shorten the later orthodontic treatment if it would be necessary.
If your child is between the age 6-8 and has signs of the need for orthodontic treatment, or if you have been directed by your dentist to visit the orthodontist, then it would be a great idea to give us a call at Orange County Pediatric Dental Group and schedule your child’s appointment with our specialists. We will discuss different treatment options and provide your child with the best possible treatment. Schedule your appointment today: (714) 972-1359.