You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. And it may help you avoid more costly or more invasive treatments down the road. Orthodontic problems rarely fix themselves. That is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be screened by an AAO orthodontist at age 7. By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth that an orthodontist can spot a problem before it becomes … well, a bigger problem.
Some issues may be obvious – misaligned teeth, an “overbite,” and an underbite or a crossbite – but others can remain undetectable by the untrained eye. Either way, let an orthodontist take a look. In addition to an intraoral exam, orthodontists use panoramic x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.
Early treatment, which occurs while some baby teeth are still present, can guide the growth of facial and jaw bones into a better growth pattern and provide more space for incoming permanent teeth.
Problems that may lend themselves well to early treatment include:
- Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
- Crossbites – when the upper teeth are inside of the lowers
- Functional shift – when the jaw shifts to one side as the teeth come together
- Very crowded teeth
- Excessively spaced teeth
- Extra or missing teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or don’t meet at all
- Thumb-, finger- or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth
You do not need to wait for a dentist referral for your child to see an orthodontist. General dentists and orthodontists focus on different aspects of dental health. Orthodontists are specialists in facial development and the bite. The initial exam is completely complimentary and if your child is not ready for orthodontic treatment we will place them in our Growth Guidance program. This program consist of yearly check ups to evaluate eruption and growth patterns.
To schedule your complimentary consultation call our office at (270) 781-1025 or click the link below!