The Importance Of Child Orthodontics
A Complete Guide to Child Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatment can be a crucial part of your child’s oral health care. Teeth that work together make it possible to bite and chew properly. The beautiful smile that results from child orthodontic treatment is the outward sign of good oral health, and sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Understanding Early Check-Ups
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children get their first check-up with an AAO orthodontist either at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem or at age 7.
Around that age, children have a mix of baby (primary) and permanent teeth. An examination at this age gives the child orthodontist a wealth of information. If a problem exists, or if one is developing, your orthodontist is able to advise you on which treatment is recommended, when it should begin, and estimate its length.
If your child is younger than 7, and you notice something that appears “off,” it’s not necessary to wait until your child turns 7 or until you get a recommendation from your dentist. You should take your child to an orthodontist the moment you notice an issue, regardless of age.
Enjoy treats in moderation and ensure that you stay up on your brushing and flossing during this spooky season. Even braces-friendly treats can get caught in brackets, which may create a ghoulish smile. While this might make your costume look scarier, it also causes unwanted plaque buildup. Give your teeth and braces some extra love during this time of year and brush your teeth about a half-hour after you indulge in a sweet treat.
Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontic Care:
One of the easiest ways to determine if it’s time to take your child to an orthodontist is if you notice any of these early warning signs.
Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth
Although there are ranges of normal variation, losing baby teeth too early or too late can create problems with the permanent ones that should replace them. A child orthodontist is an expert in recognizing and treating adverse variations.
Difficulty Chewing or Biting
Eating should not hurt. Although there is discomfort associated with “teething,” painful chewing may indicate there are orthodontic problems that should be addressed.
Although orthodontists cannot correct mouth breathing, there are orthodontic problems that can develop as a result of this pattern of breathing which can be addressed and corrected by an orthodontist.
Jaws Shifting or Clicking
Shifting of the lower jaw due to a bite problem can lead to jaw pain and other dental consequences. Orthodontists are experts in evaluating how your teeth come together and can make sure they’re properly aligned.
In a normal bite, the outer cusps of the upper teeth hold the cheeks away from the lower chewing surfaces. If your child is constantly biting their cheeks, they may have a crossbite or other condition that is preventing normal chewing.
The appearance of the lips, chin, and other facial features are affected by the underlying teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are experts in evaluating the relationship between the teeth, jaws, and the face.