For many parents with children, it’s often confusing why many dentists and orthodontists recommend early orthodontic treatment. For some, parents often refuse to take their children to an orthodontist because they don’t see the reasons behind the treatment. According to the American Dental Association, the recommended age for a child’s first visit to an orthodontist is seven, because that’s when the child’s first primary adult teeth begin to grow in. So, why an orthodontist? Orthodontists specialize in managing the growth and development of teeth and have the special tools and treatment plans to guide the growth of your child’s teeth over time. Children can benefit greatly from getting orthodontic treatment.
Signs To Watch For With Children
Before even considering early orthodontic treatment, you, as a parent, should look for the following signs that indicate development or growth problems with your child’s teeth and mouth.
- Thumb-sucking: Often seen as a regular habit in children, when a child over the age of four continues to suck their thumb, it can impact their mouth and developing jaw, causing possible teeth misalignment and changes in the palate.
- Mouth-Breathing: If you notice your child breathing with their mouth instead of their nose, then it could indicate a mouth issue, where the placement of the jaw or teeth can impact their ability to breathe normally. Also, if your child snores louder than they should, then it’s also an indicator of development issues.
- Overbite/Underbite: If your child’s mouth can’t properly close, then an orthodontist will be able to treat the issue.
- Teeth Gaps: Teeth gaps can lead to future development issues in the mouth, such as when the wisdom teeth come in and disrupt the teeth.
- Crooked Teeth: While appearing average, crooked teeth can impact the child’s confidence, as well as their ability to speak and eat.
- Overcrowding: The opposite of teeth gaps but just as severe. If the teeth begin to overlap one another, it can lead to severe complications down the road.
The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
By addressing the problems sooner, orthodontists can help prevent future issues down the road. Some of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment include:
- Orthodontists can monitor your child’s jaw growth and help guide its development.
- Orthodontists can reduce the likelihood of teeth growing in crooked.
- Orthodontists can address the possibilities of future complications, such as extracting permanent teeth.
- Orthodontists can help build confidence in children by showing their progress and working with them to achieve a beautiful smile.
For early orthodontic treatment, it’s best to treat your child as soon as possible, because once they reach their teenage years, it’ll be harder for the teeth to adjust to orthodontic devices, such as braces and aligners, as many of the child’s teeth have already developed. So, when it comes to early orthodontic treatment, see your family dentist right away for recommendations.
When it comes to early orthodontic treatment, Dr. Sam Bullard has helped many families achieve healthy, happy teeth, guiding parents through their worries and giving children a safe, fun environment for learning about dentistry. If you have any concerns about early orthodontic treatment, contact Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry today, located in Noblesville, IN.