“How will I know if my child needs orthodontics?”
This is a very popular question I get often from parents seeking answers regarding their child’s smile. And it’s a great one! When you’re not in the business of building beautiful smiles every day, it can be tough to see the signs that your child’s smile may be in need of professional guidance. That’s where I come in!
Be Aware of Bite Issues
As an orthodontist, I focus on not only how great a smile looks, but also how healthy the bite is. Parents often judge their children’s need for orthodontic treatment only on how straight or attractive their teeth look. I have seen many children that have a reasonably nice smile, but their bite is totally off, which can cause many problems on the road.
If a child’s bite is off, it means that their teeth aren’t meshing together properly in the back of their mouth. This can lead to dental or restored IV issues later in life. Over time, an improper bite will cause teeth to wear down faster and even possibly develop a fracture. So, orthodontic treatment isn’t just about the aesthetic benefits of a beautiful smile – it’s also about ensuring a healthy smile and even bite.
If you notice that your child has trouble chewing or biting into food, it may be an indicator that orthodontic treatment will be needed. Pay attention to their jaw and whether it shifts or makes sounds. Another indicator is if your child’s teeth meet crookedly or don’t meet at all.
When In Doubt, Schedule A Complimentary Consultation!
Whether or not you feel as though your child’s bite is healthy, it is always best practice to have them evaluated by an orthodontist to ensure that no hard-to-see issues are occurring. Not all parents are aware of this, but the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children should be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7 for an evaluation.
Another common misconception for many parents is the idea that all of the baby teeth should fall out before taking their child to see an orthodontist. This is not the case. In some instances, if the baby teeth have not fallen out yet, it could mean that there are other issues going on with the eruption of the permanent teeth. For example, a permanent tooth could be stuck in the bone or impacted.
While orthodontic treatment typically doesn’t start until between 11-13 years of age unless early or more complex treatment is needed, having your child evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of 7 is a great step in determining the health of their bite. Not to mention, taking care of early corrections can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by heading off orthodontic problems before they get worse!
So, the earlier you can get your child’s smile checked over by an orthodontist, the better – even though they may still have baby teeth or their dentist hasn’t referred you yet. In many practices, like my own, initial consultations are FREE. It will make all the difference in the world for your child’s smile, putting them on the early track for a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime!
Are you ready to ensure your child’s smile?
Call Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth Orthodontics office today at (651) 406-8100 to schedule a free consultation that includes digital photos and x-rays if needed!
We look forward to meeting you! For more information, visit our website.