Your Child's First Orthodontic Check-up
Give your child the gift of a healthy smile
Not only do well-aligned teeth look good and feel good, they also are important to good dental health. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to dental problems. Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. But if your child does need help, it pays to start treatment when you have the greatest chance of success. Make sure your chold receives an orthodontic check-up no later then age 7.
A Lifetime of Benefits
Good Dental Health Starts Early
As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. Start with regular dental care. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the family dentist by his or her first birthday, while baby (primary) teeth are emerging. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing.
All Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-up No Later Than Age 7
To have a smile that's good for life, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. In other words, a healthy bite. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. by then, your child's teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth.
Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment
While orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early. If it appears that treatment will be needed, your orthodontist can advise you as to the ideal time to begin. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Improve the way lips meet
Orthodontists Can Spot Subtle Problems
Signs the Bite is Not Right
It's not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
Orthodontists are dental specialist who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.