There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the age at which a child should visit the orthodontist. Many believe it should be during their teen years, but the right time to see an orthodontist is actually between the ages of 7 and 8, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. At this age, some of your child’s permanent front teeth and molars will have come in, which means an orthodontist will be able to determine how your child’s bite will continue to develop, in addition to any possible complications that might arise in the future.
What Can an Orthodontist do for My Child?
If your child’s teeth appear to be straight, you might be wondering what an orthodontist can do for him or her, or if it is even necessary to schedule a visit at all. Orthodontists can do more than simply recommend braces for your child. An orthodontist can detect issues and red flags that others would easily miss.
Some of the issues an orthodontist will be able to address when you schedule your child’s first visit include:
- Tooth overcrowding
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Delayed or premature loss of baby teeth
- Trouble chewing
- Lower and upper teeth meet in an abnormal way
- Imbalanced facial appearance
- Protruding teeth
- Biting the cheek
- Jaws are either too far back or forward
If at your first appointment, your child’s orthodontist does not recommend any treatment because your child is not ready yet, it is likely they will ask you to return in 6 months to a year for reevaluation. If your child does need treatment, keep in mind that he or she will not necessarily get braces at the age of 7 or 8. These initial appointments are meant to detect any foreseeable issues and plan how to address them. Proper planning will help ensure that any treatments your child receives will be done right the first time.
Is Orthodontic Care Only Cosmetic?
Orthodontic treatment can be for functional or aesthetic purposes and, of course, both of these reasons are valid. For example, if your child is unhappy with the appearance of his or her smile, orthodontic treatment can help give a confidence boost, improving your child’s quality of life. However, straight teeth are not just about beauty. When your teeth are straight, it makes it easier to keep them clean. Additionally, orthodontic treatment can also address poor jaw function, making it easier to bite and chew food. For all of these reasons and more, it is crucial to ensure your child sees an orthodontist at the right age and to not dismiss this treatment as purely cosmetic.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Skilled Orthodontic Team Today!
If your child is 7 or older, you should not put off scheduling his or her first orthodontic appointment. At Adventure Dental and Orthodontics, our team provides a vast range of orthodontic treatments, including clear or metal braces, retainers, Invisalign™, and customized mouth guards. Do not wait for your child to enter adolescence. Tooth overcrowding can result in serious consequences and might even require surgery if left untreated.
In the hands of our experienced team, you can rest assured your child will receive the care he or she needs.
Get started today and contact our office at (661) 251-0200 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and skilled pediatric orthodontists to learn more about how we can serve you and your children.