One of the questions we get asked often is when should I bring my child in for treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child’s first visit at the age of 7. For most, early treatment is not necessary, but for a few, early treatment can prevent small problems from becoming big problems down the road.
We’re going to go over 5 problems to look out for to know if it’s a good time to take your child in to see the orthodontist.
Normally the top teeth should sit on the bottom teeth like the lid on a can. A crossbite is when the top teeth sit on the inside of the bottom teeth. This can cause a few problems that can be difficult to treat down the road. A common crossbite is when one of the front teeth bites down inside the bottom teeth. If left untreated crossbite can lead to crowding and the need for extraction, improper growth of the jaw or even surgery down the road.
2. Open Bite
An open bite is when the upper and lower teeth are unable to make contact. This can affect eating and speech and could be the result of growth or a thumb habit. Open bite can become significantly more difficult to treat as time goes on.
3. Protrusive Front Teeth
Protrusive front teeth, also known as buck teeth or a big overbite, is when the upper front teeth are significantly flared forward. This can actually be dangerous. If the teeth are the most forward part of the face, they can be at risk for damage, for example, if a child is swimming and comes up to the edge of a pool, the teeth would be much more likely to make contact with the edge of the pool.
4. Early Loss of Baby Teeth
Early loss of baby teeth can result in crowding, or adult teeth growing in, in the place of other incoming adult teeth. If a baby tooth is not there to hold space for adult teeth and another tooth grows in, it may not be possible to create room for that tooth without extracting teeth.
5. Social Concerns
There are times when early treatment is justified for psycho social reasons. We’ve had kids getting picked on at school because of the appearance of their teeth. In these cases waiting to start treatment until their teens might result in years of issues with social development.
Whether or not early treatment is necessary for your child, our primary concern is making sure that we provide you with the right long term treatment of your smile. If you have any questions, please give us a call and we are happy to answer them.