Orthodontics for Children
Because each individual is different, there is no universal age for beginning orthodontic treatment. Thus, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting an orthodontist around age seven for an orthodontic examination and consultation. Not all children require orthodontic treatment at this age, but there are certain situations in which early orthodontic treatment provides significant benefits, reducing the chance of future problems with dental development and jaw growth.
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.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when 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
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
It's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment, so please contact us to schedule an appointment for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation!