Parents understand the value of orthodontic treatment for their children, but they may not be aware of the signs that indicate braces or some other orthodontic appliances may be in order. Here are a few issues that warrant an orthodontics evaluation:
- Premature loss of primary teeth: If a baby tooth falls out early due to injury or advanced decay, the permanent tooth may erupt too soon. This can throw the alignment of the permanent teeth out of whack.
- Delayed loss of primary teeth: Similarly, if a primary tooth stays in the mouth too long, it can prevent the permanent tooth from erupting in a timely fashion, which can also cause incorrect positioning.
- Noticeable crowding or gaps: This issue can easily be corrected with braces or possibly interceptive treatment.
- Signs of malocclusion: If your child’s teeth don’t meet normally or if there are problems with biting or chewing, it can suggest the presence of a malocclusion. This situation can also be improved with early orthodontic treatment.
Even if your child isn’t demonstrating any obvious symptoms of misaligned teeth or jaws, it’s recommended that he or she have the first orthodontic evaluation around age 6. At that time, enough of the permanent teeth have erupted to determine whether there may be any problems that require some sort of intervention. For some issues, early orthodontic treatment can prevent the need for more involved interventions at a later date. Additionally, it is easier to manipulate growth patterns in younger children, if that is a component of treatment.
This initial evaluation also provides a baseline for monitoring any changes in the alignment of your child’s smile. In fact, early orthodontic intervention is another compelling reason to make sure that your child sees a dentist every six months. These routine exams can detect the onset of issues with the proper alignment of the teeth so that those issues can be addressed promptly.
Don’t delay in scheduling an orthodontic evaluation for your child. It can save time, trouble and money in the long run. Schedule an appointment around your child’s 6th or 7th birthday to make sure that their smile stays straight and attractive. To learn more, contact the office of Dr. John Morris at 269-979-1500.