When should children first see an orthodontist? The ideal age is right around their seventh birthday. At this age, children have had enough of their permanent teeth erupt that any problems with alignment should be clear to a trained professional, but the children are still young enough that early intervention can spare them invasive treatments.
The Benefits of Early Treatment:
- Guides the growth of the jaw for good alignment, straighter teeth, and balanced facial features
- Regulates arch width
- Creates space for crowded teeth
- Allows the doctor to avoid tooth extraction and surgery
- Improves speech
Does Your Child Need to Be Seen?
All children should be seen by an orthodontist. While parents often assume they will be able to see if there is a problem, the truth is that significant orthodontic issues can be invisible to the untrained eye. Instead, come see Dr. Hughes no matter what. However, there are signs that parents might pick up on that indicate a need to be seen as soon as possible to begin treatment. These include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Struggling to chew food
- Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Popping sounds in the jaw joint
- Teeth that do not meet when the jaw is closed
- Jaws and teeth that seem out of proportion with the rest of the face.
Whether are not you observe these signs in your child, please schedule an appointment if they are seven or older.