Early Treatment for Children
Excellent dental and orthodontic health begins early on. According to American Association of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines, a child’s first visit to the dentist should be as soon as the first tooth erupts or by the age of one, at the latest.
Although there is not an exact age to start orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven to make sure that jaws and teeth are growing at a normal rate. This will allow the orthodontist to diagnose and if needed, correct the tooth and jaw alignment as soon as they are detected.
If any of the following signs are present, your child may need an orthodontic exam:
- Problems with chewing or biting
- Teeth grinding, specifically at night
- Mouth breathing
- Early or very late loss of baby teeth
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked teeth around age seven or eight
- Clicking, popping and shifting of jaws on opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
A confident smile and good oral health make a great difference in your child’s well-being and self-confidence at this critical time of their life. Although braces for teens are more common, braces for children can ensure better end results as your child continues to grow and develop.