An orthodontist visit may be in order if your child is around age 7. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends this age because most adult teeth have started to erupt. When you bring your child in to see an orthodontist early enough, we can closely monitor the bite alignment and spacing of each tooth to ensure a healthy, beautiful smile.
While many children won’t need braces at this young age, having Dr. Larson evaluate your child’s smile can reduce the risk of bigger issues later on in life. With early treatment, we can evaluate smiles and continue to monitor the development of the jaw and teeth. Here are some of the common problems we aim to address.
Overbite, Underbite, Openbite, and Crossbite
Bite issues can occur when the upper and lower teeth are out of alignment. In some cases, the upper teeth may protrude beyond the lower teeth, and vice versa. Other times, both the upper and lower teeth may jut out or cause the teeth to grow crisscrossed.
Alignment issues may stem from your child’s oral habits, such as sucking their thumb or using a pacifier religiously. A misaligned bite can make it difficult for your child to chew or speak, and in severe cases, can even cause sleep apnea or TMJ pain. With early treatment, we can detect the slightest disturbance to your child’s bite and prevent more invasive treatment later on.
Crowding and Spacing
As children lose their baby teeth one by one, other teeth can shift, leaving little room for adult teeth to erupt properly. This results in crowded teeth, which can make it difficult to properly clean teeth and lead to cavities.
If your child has large gaps between the teeth, they may have difficulty chewing or feel self-conscious about their smile. Large spaces also contribute to crowding in other areas, which can lead to increased cavities and tooth decay if left untreated. With early treatment, we can assess the best time to start your child in braces. This can help reduce the length of treatment and keep treatment costs to a minimum.
If your child is around age 7, contact us today to schedule an appointment!