If your child has not seen an orthodontist, consider visiting The Super Dentists for an early evaluation. Receiving orthodontic care earlier rather than later can pose as a huge advantage for the development of your child's teeth and mouth as well as their future oral health. Please read below for more information on early orthodontic treatment. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact one of our San Diego area offices today!
When should my child begin orthodontic treatment?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems, or no later than age 7. Treatment may not always be necessary at this stage, however an examination can anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
What are some orthodontic problems I should look out for?
According to the AAO, the following are some early warning signs that your child may need orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Finger sucking or other oral habits
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Grinding or clinching of teeth
If your child exhibits any of these behaviors or characteristics, please contact us to schedule first visit exam.
Why age 7?
By the age of 7, your child's first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. At this time, we can effectively evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible open bite, overbite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening can detect future problems, telling us what the most optimal course of treatment will be and when it should start.
What are the advantages of preventive orthodontics?
Some of the direct results of early orthodontic treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
- Reducing the need for jaw surgery
My child has a bad bite; should it be treated?
Malocclusions, or bad bites, are misalignments of the teeth that occur when the upper and lower jaw do not line up correctly. Untreated bad bites can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and floss properly, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accident chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and cause speech impediments
Ultimately, orthodontics will do more for your child than create a pretty smile – it will create a healthier smile that will last a lifetime!
The doctors at The Super Dentists are experienced in treating patients of all ages. If you live in San Diego County and a member of your family is in need of an orthodontic evaluation, give one of our offices a call (760) or (619) DENTIST (336-8478), or just stop by to schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in the San Diego are of Eastlake, Chula Vista and Oceanside, CA. We also offer adult treatment, Invisalign, Incognito, teeth whitening and orthodontics related with jaw surgery.