The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. Many parents may think that’s too early because their child still has their primary (or baby) teeth. However, early intervention can help correct issues with your child’s bite, teeth spacing, and more.
A consultation around age seven can help determine if your child will need early orthodontic treatment, which will be done around age eight or nine. Knowing the signs to look for can help determine when to contact an orthodontist.
Common Causes of Orthodontic Issues
There are many potential causes of orthodontic issues. Some of these issues may be genetic or could be trauma-induced. Others can be due to certain habits your child has.
Common issues like teeth crowding, uneven spacing, jaw growth issues, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by a mouth injury, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb sucking.
How Can Early Treatment Help?
As your child ages, their jaw bones will stop growing and harden, just like the other bones in their body. Once the bones are more solidified, they can be harder to move and correct, leading to tooth extraction or even oral surgery when issues are present.
Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for these more invasive treatments as an adult. In fact, it can keep them out of an orthodontist’s office as an adult entirely.
Most children will lose their primary teeth by age 13, and their jaw bones will be done growing and hardening by the end of their teen years. Early orthodontic treatment will be easier and less invasive than the adult treatments of their concerns.
Signs of Orthodontic Issues
Are you wondering if your child may need early orthodontic treatment? Every child is unique, and their pediatric dentist can tell you if an orthodontist should evaluate them.
However, there are some signs you should watch for. If you see any of these concerns with your child, bring them up to their dentist:
Early or late loss of baby teeth. Children typically start losing teeth around age five and have all their permanent teeth by age 13.
Teeth that don’t come together in a normal way or at all
Thumb sucking after age five
Protruding teeth (the top teeth and bottom teeth extend away from each other)
Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (known as a crossbite).
Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Issues with chewing or biting
How Nevada Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry Can Help
If you have concerns about your child’s teeth alignment or their dentist has mentioned the need for orthodontic care, our team would love to help. Orthodontic treatment is typically done in two phases for children. Getting them started early will allow for the simplest process and help prevent concerns in their adult years.
Book a consultation with Dr. Faranesh to see what a personalized treatment plan would look like for your child.