Straight, well-aligned teeth are vital for proper oral functions, like eating and speaking. Not to mention, properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, promoting dental health. Often, parents tend to believe that children do not require orthodontic care until they have lost all their baby teeth. However, this is not true. In fact, it is recommended children see their dentist in Canton around the age of 6 or 7 to have their first orthodontic consultation. With early care, you can reduce the need for invasive and lengthy treatments in the future.
Why Do Children Need to See an Orthodontist?
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should have a consultation before the age of seven because this is the time the permanent teeth begin to erupt. At this point, potential alignment and bite issues become more apparent, such as overcrowding. In addition, the bones of children are still growing during this time. This allows us to better detect the need for orthodontic intervention, either now or in the future.
With early intervention, it helps your child’s growing jaw in many areas. When the dental arches or jaws are not in their correct positons, it is easier to improve the function and appearance of these complications while a child is still growing. As the child ages, additional treatment may be needed; however, the length of treatment will generally be shorter and less complex.
What is Involved with Orthodontics for Children?
Often, when the term orthodontics is used, many parents automatically assume their child needs braces. However, for young children, orthodontics can include several treatments, not just braces. For example, if the dental arch is too small to accommodate your child’s teeth, resulting in overcrowding, palatal expanders can be used. This helps to make the jaw larger to allow the permanent teeth to erupt with less overcrowding.
There are other appliances as well that can help to promote the bite and alignment of your child’s teeth. For example, if your child has a habit of sucking their thumb or tongue thrusting, they have an increased risk for developing an open bite. To prevent this, a device can be placed across the roof of the child’s mouth to keep the tongue back to protect the teeth.
In some cases, we can help prepare for orthodontic treatments in the future, such as with the extraction of primary teeth. This allows more room for the permanent teeth to erupt, reducing the risk for overcrowding and rotated or tipped teeth.
Where Can I Get an Orthodontic Consultation?
At Dentistry at Hickory Flat, we provide orthodontic consultations for patients of all ages, even young children. By monitoring the development of your child’s teeth, we can quickly intervene and address bite and alignment concerns. This will reduce the need for invasive and lengthy treatments as your child ages.
With the right orthodontic care from an early age, you will set the right foundation for dental health and proper oral functions. To schedule an orthodontic consultation, contact our office today.