We’re happy to hear that you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your child! Perhaps you may have some concerns about the positioning of their teeth or have noticed a functional problem. No matter what caused you to consider treatment, the benefits of a healthy and aligned smile will last your child a lifetime!
Some of the most common reasons why someone would seek out orthodontic treatment include crooked teeth, overlapping, crowded teeth, malocclusion (also known as a “bad bite”), and overbite/underbite problems. Besides affecting the appearance of your child’s smile, having misaligned teeth and crooked teeth can lead to health issues such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Chewing problems due to the discomfort from the strain on teeth and jaw
- Excessive wear and tear on teeth and supporting bone & gums causing gum recession etc
- Speech difficulties
These are just a few of the possible outcomes, but proper timing and proper treatment will help to correct and even prevent these issues. Below are some of the most common questions we get from parents when they bring their child in for their first orthodontic checkup.
Can my child’s dentist provide orthodontic treatment?
That is a question for your dentist. While your dentist can offer orthodontic care, they typically refer complicated cases to an orthodontist who specializes in this kind of treatment. An orthodontist can provide prevention, diagnosis, and correction of misaligned teeth and bite patterns. A dentist can refer you to an orthodontist, but it is not necessary for you to have a referral from a dentist to make an appointment to see an orthodontist.
How soon can I bring my child in to see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends bringing your child to see an orthodontist by the time they turn seven years old. By bringing your child to see an orthodontist this early on, you can save money and time later on. Most kids at this age won’t need any treatment, however an orthodontist can provide preventative treatment by detecting problems earlier and also from problems worsening that the untrained eye may have missed.