young kid smiling

Your Child's First Orthodontic Check-up

Give your child the gift of a healthy smile

Not only do well-aligned teeth look good and feel good, they also are important to good dental health. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to dental problems. Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. But if your child does need help, it pays to start treatment when you have the greatest chance of success. Make sure your chold receives an orthodontic check-up no later then age 7.

A Lifetime of Benefits

Good Dental Health Starts Early

As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. Start with regular dental care. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the family dentist by his or her first birthday, while baby (primary) teeth are emerging. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing.

All Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-up No Later Than Age 7

To have a smile that's good for life, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. In other words, a healthy bite. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. by then, your child's teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth.

Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment

While orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early. If it appears that treatment will be needed, your orthodontist can advise you as to the ideal time to begin. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:

Guide jaw growth
Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
Correct harmful oral habits
Improve appearance and self-esteem
Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
Improve the way lips meet

Orthodontists Can Spot Subtle Problems

Signs the Bite is Not Right

It's not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

Early or late loss of baby teeth
Difficulty in chewing or biting
Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
Jaws that are too far forward or back
Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
Protruding teeth
Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
An unbalanced facial appearance
Grinding or clenching of teeth

About Orthodontics

Orthodontists are dental specialist who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.