As your child grows, their regular dentist will keep their teeth clean and healthy, but when their baby teeth begin to make way for a permanent set, you may find that your child is in need of early orthodontic treatment. This treatment is used to correct bite irregularities that your child may have due to genetic factors, early loss of baby teeth, or due to damaging oral habit such as thumb sucking.
Children can be born with orthodontic irregularities or may develop them through toddlerhood or early childhood. If left untreated, crooked teeth can cause low self-esteem and can make good oral care difficult. By straightening your child’s teeth with early orthodontic treatment, you can help lessen the risk of childhood periodontal disease and tooth decay.
What is Early Orthodontic Treatment?
This type of treatment helps to provide enough space in the mouth for permanent teeth to come in correctly. The orthodontist may provide one of a wide range of dental appliances that will help to promote jaw growth, prevent teeth from shifting, or will hold space for adult teeth. This treatment may also include methods to prevent orthodontically harmful habits like thumb sucking if necessary.
It is recommended that an orthodontist evaluates your child at the age of seven years old. Children at this age tend to have both baby and permanent teeth, accompanied by a growing jaw, making it easier for orthodontists to identify your child current and potential jaw or tooth issues. Taking your child in for early evaluation is crucial so they can get the preventative treatment they need before surgery, or more invasive procedures are required in the future.
Signs Your Child Needs Orthodontic Care
Your child’s dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if they notice an irregularity, but as a parent, there are signs you can look for that indicate your child should visit an orthodontist. Some of these signs include:
- Mouth breathing
- Premature or delayed loss of baby teeth
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Misplaced, crowded, or blocked-out teeth
- Trouble chewing or biting food
- Jaws are too far back or too far forward
- Upper and lower teeth do not fully come together or come together abnormally
- Crowded front teeth at the age of seven or eight
It is important to schedule your child for an evaluation if you notice any of the signs above or if they have reached the age of seven to help ensure they receive the preventative treatment they need to have a healthy and confident smile. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about braces and other orthodontic treatments for children, call King Orthodontics today to schedule your complimentary consultation!