According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should have their first orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. But why? During this age, your child will likely still have most of their baby teeth as the mouth is still developing, just like the rest of their body. To ensure their smile is perfectly aligned, lasting a lifetime without serious concerns or issues, teeth should be inspected early on. Proper growth begins with the baby teeth, continuing into adulthood.
Development of the adult teeth relies heavily on how the baby teeth are initially aligned, when and how they fall out and how much room each allow for the emergence of permanent teeth. While the teeth may appear to be straight and issue-free at this time, having an orthodontist check is best, as their can be underlying issues only a trained eye would notice. By undergoing treatment and checkups earlier, problems can be pinpointed and corrected in a more timely manner.
Some of your child's behaviors or physical attributes can be an indicator that something is amiss. These include:
- Biting of the cheeks or roof of the mouth
- Breathing through the mouth constantly
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked teeth, affecting overall growth in the mouth
- Facial imbalance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth, especially during the nighttime hours
- Inaccurate jaw placement
- Loss of baby teeth early or late in life
- Sucking of the thumb or other materials, such as a pacifier
By taking care of these issues right away, the problem can be corrected in a faster, more efficient manner. The consultation may even determine that treatment is necessary, but should be started at a later date. If this occurs, another appointment time will be established.
Learn more about your child's oral health and treatment options by visiting our website.