For the most part, parents often take their children to the orthodontist when they notice misaligned teeth or excessive gaps between teeth. However, there are also a number of other problems that need to be addressed, and even if you think that your child’s dental health is good, there may be problems that you cannot see.
When you should Take Your Child to an Orthodontist
As a rule of thumb, a child should have its first visit to an orthodontist at around age 7, because at this age, baby teeth have started to fall out, but their permanent teeth are still only just beginning to come through. However, a good orthodontist will be able to tell you if he or she thinks that there may be problems with your kid’s dental health.
Spotting the Warning Signs
In order to prevent dental problems as your child gets older, there are a number of warning signs that if spotted, can alert you to the need for your child to visit an orthodontist. If there is a history of orthodontic problems in your family, then it is quite possible for your children to inherit these problems too. Also, children can acquire bad habits when they are really young, such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing or excessive pacifier use.
Crowded teeth and having too many teeth are also common problems, as are jaws and teeth that are misaligned, causing overbite and underbite.
Taking Early Action
It is important for parents to understand that they should not have to wait until their child’s permanent teeth have made an appearance, before taking corrective action. Delaying treatment could cause more problems at a later date, and require your child to undergo more complicated and intensive treatments as they become an adult. Orthodontic treatment is more effective when a child is young and the jaw is still growing, and therefore, treatment will be shorter and simpler.
It is vital that parents look out for any potential dental problems in their children, this is even more important if there is a family history of specific types of orthodontic problems. If you think that your child may be suffering from some of the problems discussed in this article, then you should consult with an orthodontist at the earliest opportunity. This can make the difference between successful early treatment and more prolonged and complicated treatment at a later date.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.