This is a very common question that many parents have when it comes to their child possibly needing orthodontic treatment. The signs might be right in front of you and don’t even realize it. If you are not an orthodontist, it may be tough for you to see the signs that your child’s smile may be in need of orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign. This is where the professional guidance from an orthodontist, such as myself, comes in handy.
Look At Your Child’s Bite
You may look at your child and think their teeth are pretty straight, but as an orthodontist, I look at more than just how straight or crooked teeth are. Many parents make the innocent mistake of judging whether or not their child needs braces based on how straight their teeth look. Just because the teeth may look straight, does not mean that the bite is correct. A bite that is off can cause many problems down the road as your child ages into adulthood.
The top and bottom teeth are meant to come together in a particular way so that they do not get damaged over the years.
Bite problems can occur in the front teeth (underbite or overbite), the back teeth (crossbite) or a combination of both. Parents most often miss seeing the bite issues that are in the back of the mouth because you may not see them when you child smiles. It is important that bite problems are corrected at the appropriate time in a child’s life because an improper bite can cause their teeth to wear down faster and possibly lead to fracture of teeth. As you can see, orthodontic treatment is not only about making the teeth straight. It is also about making sure the bite is healthy.
When In Doubt, Schedule A Complimentary Consultation With Dr. Wise
At Wise Braces Orthodontics, it does not cost you a penny to come in and see Dr. Wise for an orthodontic consultation. Our initial consultations are always complimentary. Whether or not you feel that your child’s bite is correct, it is always best to seek the opinion of a trained orthodontist to ensure that no hard-to-see issue are happening.
Many parents are not aware that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children should be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7 years old for their first orthodontic evaluation.
A common misconception that most parents have is the idea that all of the baby teeth need to have fallen out before their child can start orthodontic treatment. This is not true at all. In some cases, for example, baby teeth that have no fallen out could mean that there are other issues such as a permanent tooth being stuck in the bone (impacted) and not allowing for the baby tooth to fall out naturally. A situation like the one just describe can be detected in an x-ray and requires immediate attention.
If your child’s bite is developing normally, the typical age for starting orthodontic treatment is usually between ages 11-13 years old. However, if your child’s bite is not developing normally, early orthodontic treatment may be needed as early as 7-8 years old. This is why it is important to have your child evaluated by age 7 years old. Most bite problems are much easier to correct while children are in their early growing stages. Bite problems that are not addressed until after puberty often times require jaw surgery to get corrected. Taking care of bite problems at the appropriate age can save you a lot of money in the long run and potentially avoid the need for jaw surgery.
The earlier you bring your child in to get checked by Dr. Wise, the better. Even if your child’s pediatric dentist has not referred you yet, early intervention is key. Remember, the initial consultation is FREE so you have nothing to lose. It can make all the difference in your child’s smile. Our goal is to educate parents so that their children can have beautiful healthy smiles that last them a lifetime.