why and when to see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist at age 7. This may surprise you because orthodontic treatment is generally associated with adolescence. An early exam, however, is very important to ensure the best possible dental health for your child.
The following early signs may indicate that your child should have an orthodontic examination as soon as possible:
- Difficulty in chewing
- Open-mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Overlapping or crowding of erupting permanent teeth
- Jaws that tend to click or pop
- A developing underbite, overbite, protruding front teeth or other abnormal bite development
The benefits of early diagnosis
Orthodontists can improve smiles at any age, but there is usually a best age for treatment to begin. An early examination allows the orthodontic specialist to determine how and when a child’s particular problem should be treated to ensure maximum improvement with the smallest amount of time and expense. In some cases, early treatment achieves results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing.
The importance of treatment
Every parent wants their child to have a beautiful smile – and every child ought to have a healthy one. The orthodontist’s goal is to achieve both for the patient.
Untreated malocclusions may contribute to conditions that use tooth decay, diseased gums, bone destruction, loss of teeth and jaw joint problems. The increased cost of dental care to treat these problems after they develop may actually exceed the cost of orthodontic treatment.