My child brushes and flosses, do they really need to see an orthodontist?
Proper oral hygiene in children and teens isn’t unheard of. Some kids love their teeth and take care of them well. But, even if your kiddo falls into this group it doesn’t eliminate their need to see an orthodontist.
Orthodontists specialize in the healthy eruption and alignment of teeth – something that you can’t always see with the naked eye. It takes x-rays and a trained eye to make sure that teeth are growing and erupting properly and that the bite is aligned correctly, which is essential for healthy chewing, digesting and reduces the risk of gum issues and disease.
Approximately 75% of all children could benefit from orthodontic treatment, and 45% of all children need treatment for an underlying functional issue.
When Should a Child See an Orthodontist?
Even if your child’s teeth look great to you, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist for a free consultation by the age of seven. Why? This is the age when most children will have permanent from teeth in place, as well as the first set of adult molars. Evaluations at this developmental phase allow for the diagnosis or orthodontic issues, whether they are present or emerging.
Seeing an orthodontist sooner rather than later can also save a good deal of money. Like with routine health check-ups, these evaluations can treat issues before they become severe, saving time, money and discomfort. An early consultation and treatment can improve tooth and jaw alignment, reduce risk of tooth decay and gum disease, improve speech development, assist with chewing and digestions, increase self-esteem, and avoid more invasive and expensive treatments later in life.
What are the signs that my child needs to see and orthodontist?
Several signs may show that a child needs to see an orthodontist. Some of the most
common issues are:
- Crowding or spacing of teeth
- Overbite or underbite
- Open bite
- Teeth that are protruding
- Teeth that aren’t aligned properly
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Speech problems
- Breathing issues
An orthodontist can assess your child’s dental and facial growth and suggest the best approaches to addressing any issues.
How an Orthodontist Diagnose a Child’s Dental Problems
An orthodontist diagnoses a child’s dental problems through a comprehensive examination. During the consultation, the orthodontist checks the child’s teeth, jaw, and facial structure to determine if anything is problematic or needs to be cared for.
This process may include taking X-rays, photographs, and teeth impressions. After the examination, the orthodontist provides a customized treatment plan for the child’s needs. Then, the child’s progress must be monitored and checked to ensure the treatment works correctly.
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