If it seems as though children are visiting the orthodontist earlier these days, they are. With numerous advancements in dentistry and orthodontics, as well as what dental professionals understand about jaw alignment and the size of a child’s palate, setting an orthodontic appointment doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will need braces. It’s simply an opportunity for the orthodontist to detect any malocclusion (bite) concerns and determine if, in fact, some form of treatment or device is necessary. Even so, if you’re wondering if your child needs orthodontic care, here’s what you need to know.
While there’s no set age to visit an orthodontist, early intervention is beneficial, especially if the child has lost baby teeth early, has sustained trauma to their mouth, was a thumb sucker, or if either parent needed braces. This is why many dentists recommend that children at least consult with an orthodontist around age 7, when issues such as uneven bite or overcrowding become apparent (as reported by KidsHealth). Other reasons for visiting an orthodontist include crooked or overlapping teeth, an uneven bite (due to disproportionate top and bottom jaw), an overbite, or an underbite.
The First Appointment: What To Expect
While some children become excited at the thought of wearing braces, some become nervous and anxious. This is why it helps to know what to expect during the first orthodontic appointment.
A comprehensive examination of a child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw are necessary to assess any malocclusions. X-rays are often taken to better determine the placement of teeth, particularly permanent teeth that have not erupted. In some cases, the orthodontist may take an impression of the child’s top and bottom teeth. Thus, the first appointment typically does not include placing braces or devices, which is good news for anxious patients. For parents, the first appointment is a valuable opportunity to ask questions and better understand the reason behind their child’s treatment.
Every Child Deserves a Healthy, Straight Smile
At Vital Smiles, we take pride in providing quality dental care to underserved children. Similarly, we believe that every child deserves a healthy, straight smile. If your child is in need of orthodontic care, rest assured—our compassionate and caring team would happily walk you through the process. Call today!
Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles