Most people will think of braces as one of the primary ways to straighten teeth. However, when is it appropriate to to seek orthodontic care? Since braces tend to be a rite of passage in the teenage years, many parents don’t realize the value of making appointments earlier. Exposing a younger child to orthodontics, however, can have some benefits that promote healthier growth of teeth while preventing potential problems down the road.
When to Call About Orthodontics
There is technically no hard and fast rule on when to set an appointment for orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists and Kottemann Orthodontics, however, both agree that around the age of seven is a very good time for helping assess potential problems in a time frame that could stave off trouble down the road.
When parents choose to bring their children in for orthodontics care a bit earlier, they can save themselves and their child a lot of hassles later in life. Age seven is considered the benchmark because at that age, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth. This allows an orthodontist to diagnose and correct some jaw and tooth problems sooner – without the need for surgery.
Why Earlier is Better for Orthodontics
While it’s quite true it’s never too late for orthodontics, going in earlier is often the better choice for a child. Early treatment enables your orthodontist to do such things as:
- Guide and correct jaw growth to help ensure that permanent teeth come in as straight as possible
- Regulate just how wide the upper and lower arches will be
- Provide more space between teeth that are growing in too crowded
- Helping prevent the need for extractions of permanent teeth in adult life
- Correcting thumb-sucking behaviors that can cause a host of problems.
Signs It’s Time to See an Orthodontist
There are a number of signs parents can watch for that may indicate a need to seek orthodontic care. They include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A child who has a hard time biting food or chewing
- Problems with mouth breathing
- Issues with thumb or finger sucking
- Teeth that are blocked, misplaced or crowded
- Jaws that make a popping sound when they are opened and closed
- Teeth that come together in an abnormal fashion or that don’t come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are disproportional to the face
There are a number of reasons to seek out orthodontics care for a child even at a young age. If it’s time, Kottemann Orthodontics is here to assist.