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When Should Your Child See the Orthodontist?

When Should Your Child See the Orthodontist?

Did you know that orthodontic problems rarely fix themselves? That’s why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. By this age, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist can spot subtle problems that may be easier to correct if they are found early.

Some issues are more obvious, such as misaligned teeth consisting of an “overbite”, “underbite”, or “crossbite”. However, there are other problems that remain unnoticeable by the untrained eye, including issues with jaw growth. Either way, it does not hurt to take your child to an orthodontist for an initial screening.

In addition to an intraoral exam, the orthodontist uses panoramic x-rays to take a deeper look beneath the gums, looking for extra missing teeth, or impacted teeth growing in the wrong location. Early treatment occurs while some baby teeth are still existing and can guide the growth of facial and jaw bones and provide more space for the arrival of permanent teeth.

Early screenings can prevent surgeries and extractions down the road. Since children’s bones are still flexible, orthodontic procedures, such as braces, are easier and most of the time faster than they would be for adults.

Here are some problems that may require early treatment:

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the upper teeth are inside the lowers
  • Functional shift – when the jaw shifts to one side as the teeth come together
  • Very crowded teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all
  • Thumb-, finger- or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Your pediatric dentist at Inspire Dental Group can help determine if your child should see our Orthodontist. Most orthodontic patients begin active treatment between ages 9 and

14. To learn more visit our website at https://www.inspiredentalgroup.com/service/orthodontics/. If you are interested scheduling an appointment with our pediatric team, click on the ‘Make an Appointment’ button in the top right corner.

Additional questions, feel free to give our office a call! (716) 362-4800