The Importance Of Early Orthodontic Evaluations for A Child
If we told you that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child’s first visit to the orthodontist should be around the age of seven, would you look at us like we were crazy? Well, it’s true. And as a top performing orthodontics office, we wholeheartedly agree.
Even if treatment doesn’t begin at age seven, early orthodontic evaluations provide tons of insight into the alignment of a child’s jaw, and gives your pediatric orthodontist the ability to evaluate dental development. Your child’s first orthodontist appointment allows a professional to evaluate whether or not orthodontic treatment is necessary, and if it is, at what time it would be appropriate to begin orthodontic treatments.
Catching any abnormalities early can affect the severity and pricing of future corrections your child may need, and the increase in confidence that you’re doing the best for your child can put your mind at ease.
One way to determine if a child needs our help is to look for bite and alignment problems. These not only affect your child’s self-esteem, but potentially their health and comfort. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent major changes in children’s eating habits or their muscular and skeletal health.
When we provide early orthodontic evaluations, we look for issues that can affect the structure and comfort of the teeth, head, and neck. Catching these issues early can stop uneven wear on teeth or maladaptive muscling in the jaw and down the back. Braces for kids and a good pediatric orthodontist will impact a child’s life and future health.
Early orthodontic evaluations for a child will typically consist of looking to see if the child has:
- Buck Teeth. Does the child’s upper front teeth stick too far out?
- Deep Bite. Do the upper teeth cover the lower teeth?
- Underbite. Do the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth?
- Open Bite. Do only the back teeth touch when biting down?
- Crowded or overlapped teeth. Do the teeth have too much or too little space?
- Misaligned front teeth. Do the spaces between the upper two front teeth and lower two front teeth not line up?
- Cross-bite. Do the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth?
Any of these issues can become larger financial hurtles down the road. By having an early orthodontic evaluation, not only will your pediatric orthodontist be able to anticipate any future comfort problems that may arise from your child growing, they’ll also be able to give you an honest approximation of a timeline, or even in some cases a financial estimate, for your child’s future needs.
Any misalignment in the jaw or teeth can create structural problems down the spine, causing potential for pain or intervention in the future. By correcting any alignment abnormalities before a child develops habits that could cause future discomfort, we can reduce problems with posture, inflammation, and even tooth decay caused by the wearing away of enamel.
Some Issues May Require Immediate Attention
If a child has specific problems originating from the alignment of the teeth, treatment may be necessary before the age of seven. Braces for kids or pediatric orthodontics will ease the severity of these problems, allowing the child to develop strong, healthy back, neck, and jaw muscles.
Speech problems, difficulty chewing, abnormal bite development, and popping in the jaw require early orthodontic evaluations, and may require treatment to fix. If your child is suffering from permanent teeth that are coming in crowded or overlapped, choosing to use braces will allow future teeth to grow in properly. Ignoring these signs can potentially cause problems for your child ranging from inflammation to migraines.
Thumb sucking and teeth grinding may also be signs of needing a pediatric orthodontist or dental intervention, as they may cause long-term problems as the child ages. Chronic cheek-biting, or even the child experiencing issues with biting the roof of their mouth, may require braces for kids or other forms of interference. Nobody likes to have a bitten tongue or cheek. Correcting the way your child’s teeth lay can give them the freedom from pain.
If your child is showing symptoms of misalignment causing them pain or discomfort, an early orthodontic evaluation can let you know for certain if they will grow out of it.
Early Treatments Benefit the Child and the Parents
By catching a problem early, your child’s orthodontist can create a game plan for any future orthodontic work. Not only does a beautiful, healthy smile directly affect a child’s confidence throughout the years, it also prevents more expensive corrective work from being necessary down the road.
Something as simple as crowded teeth or cross-bite can prevent your child from being as happy or healthy as they can be. By working with an orthodontist that you trust to create a plan, you’re taking ownership of orthodontic process, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of beautiful smiles. Your child is never too young to begin building a foundation of good habits, confidence, and comfort.
If you’re one of our valued patients, we may have been preaching to the choir with this post, which is great—we love to hear that our patients are informed! By choosing to take the reins
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Did this article influence your opinions about braces for kids or about pediatric orthodontics? By spreading correct information about the role of pediatric orthodontists or early orthodontic evaluations, we can encourage our communities to take an active role in their children’s oral health.
Do you have any further questions about the role of orthodontics in your child’s life or health? We’re more than happy to schedule an appointment or an early orthodontic evaluation. Whether your child has symptoms of needing intervention or you just want to have a first appointment with a local, highly accredited provider, we can meet your needs.
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