Getting braces is a rite of passage often associated with early adolescence, but to achieve the best outcomes, parents should actually take their children for an orthodontic evaluation years earlier, around age six or seven.
It may seem premature for a child to see an orthodontist before all of his or her permanent teeth come in, but an early examination can help the orthodontist identify potential problems that may arise. By age six or seven, enough of your child’s permanent teeth have erupted for the orthodontist to predict issues that will need to be addressed.
Additionally, when a younger child visits the orthodontist, it may be possible to intervene early to reverse a condition, such as a malocclusion, that might necessitate more extensive treatment had the patient waited until a later date to initiate orthodontic treatment.
Certain issues that emerge during early childhood may also contribute to a need for early orthodontic treatment.
Certain issues that emerge during early childhood may also contribute to a need for early orthodontic treatment. For example, if your child sucked his or her thumb into the preschool years, it may have interfered with the proper alignment of the teeth. Similarly, baby teeth that are lost too early or stay in place too long may also create a problem with the alignment of the teeth or the bite.
Even if your child does not need orthodontic treatment after that first visit, it’s better to know that in advance and for the orthodontist to determine your child’s baseline and monitor any future changes.
The initial orthodontic exam does not need to cause fear or anxiety for your child. By age six or seven, your child should be accustomed to regular visits with the dentist. This first visit to the orthodontist will not be much different than those appointments in terms of your child’s experience. The orthodontist will look at your child’s teeth and may take x-rays.
Postponing orthodontic treatment can create problems with nutrition and oral health, and it can also compromise your child’s self-esteem. Contact our professional and dedicated team at Creekview Orthodontics in Allen TX to schedule your child’s initial exam today.