Everyone wants the best for their kids’ oral health, but it might surprise many parents to know that simply taking their children to the dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings might not be enough. There comes a time for many children when a trip to the orthodontist in Superior is necessary. Sometimes it’s easy to know when it’s a good idea, but for many, it’s not something most people consider. But don’t overlook this important element in taking care of your child’s health.
Here are some tips to know when it might be a good time to schedule that appointment:
Your Child Is at Least Seven Years Old
Although at age seven most kids still have plenty of baby teeth, this is a great time to bring children to the orthodontist for the first time. With today’s modern orthodontic treatments, this is a good time for an orthodontist to assess a child’s teeth. It is important to see how well the teeth are transitioning from baby teeth to adult teeth. An orthodontist can also determine whether there seems to be enough room in your child’s mouth for the adult teeth to come in properly.
This appointment also provides the orthodontist with a good opportunity to assess your child’s bite and identify any potential issues that might been to be addressed.
When you bring your child to the orthodontist early, it’s possible preventive measures might be available to help prevent them from developing problems with their adult teeth. For instance, an orthodontist might see an opportunity to correct bite and alignment issues before adult teeth even grow in. These preventive measures today can mean a big difference in the future.
It’s also important to note here that if your child loses her baby teeth early—before the age of six or seven—this might also mean a trip to the orthodontist even earlier than age seven is a good idea just to rule out any underlying problems. (Late tooth losers should also be seen.)
Your Child Has Some Concerning Bad Habits
Thumb-sucking is one of those infant and toddler habits that can wreak havoc on teeth if they aren’t nipped in the bud early on. A child who sucks his thumb can actually cause the teeth to move by the constant sucking motion. Teeth can tip backwards or forwards, depending on the positioning of the teeth. Your orthodontist can identify potential problems early on and work to get them corrected.
It’s not easy to get kids to stop sucking their thumbs, but your Superior orthodontist will recommend that you try to get your children to stop by the age of five. If it continues beyond that, it will likely lead to problems. Occasional thumb-suckers will likely not cause any permanent damage to their teeth, but those kids who do it constantly—during the day as well as through the night—are risking problems. (Here are some tips from WebMD
to help you stop this habit in your child.)
Your Child Clearly Needs to Wear Braces
Many parents know the feeling: A perfectly even, straight smile with baby teeth turns into a crooked mass of adult teeth. Suddenly, your child has become self-conscious about smiling, and he or she might even be teased by other children. In addition, misaligned teeth are more difficult to take care of and more apt to develop problems such as cavities and gum disease. Braces can also take care of overcrowding, and overbites and underbites. All of these issues, when left untreated, can cause problems down the road, including tooth decay, difficulty chewing or speaking, headaches, and so on.
When there are clearly issues with the alignment of teeth, it’s time to bring your child in for a consultation with an orthodontist. A year or two of braces can mean a beautifully straight smile for life. There are a number of different options for braces today, including invisible braces, which are great for older kids and teens who might not want a mouth full of metal.
Incidentally, if you are adult who has been living with crooked teeth, it’s never too late for straightening your teeth. We offer a number of different options for adult orthodontics
Your Child Is Having Other Difficulties
Although bringing your child to an orthodontist by the age of seven is a loose recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists, some kids might need to be seen even earlier. Parents should be alert for signs of problems with their kids. Children who have difficulty chewing or speaking might be suffering from type of jaw issue. If you notice your kids’ jaws making any noise while they are chewing, this can also warrant a trip to the orthodontist. Teeth grinders, too, should see an orthodontist as early as necessary.
Your Child Needs the Right Orthodontist
Although your dentist might recommend an orthodontist, it’s important to do your own research on finding the right one for your child’s needs. Ask around for recommendations from family and friends. Take a look at websites and online review. Find an orthodontist that is conveniently located so it’s easy to make regular appointments for examinations and adjustments.
When you have a list of potential candidates, make a consultation appointment with each. You want to meet the orthodontist as well as the entire team. Talk about treatment plans and ask plenty of questions. Once you have met with everyone and gotten more details, you should be able to make an informed decision for you and your child.
If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment for your child, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are conveniently located for patients who are in the Broomfield, Lafayette, Superior, Erie, Brighton, Westminster, and Thornton areas. We invite you to call Prentice Orthodontics
today at 303-468-7722 to set up an appointment for a consultation. Our experienced staff can answer questions about treatment options and other orthodontic recommendations. We look forward to seeing you!