The right time for an orthodontist checkup? Age 7. That’s right: you don’t want to wait until your child is in middle school or high school for that first trip. While “braces” has become as synonymous with a teenager rite of passage as awkward first kisses and high school dances, orthodontics care should start much earlier.
Most people do not realize that an orthodontic evaluation by a qualified Halifax orthodontist is not expensive. In fact, many standard evaluations are offered free of charge. An early evaluation can pay big dividends, too. Even if your child’s emerging teeth appear to be straight, an orthodontist can identify subtle problems in jaw and tooth development that are unnoticeable to the untrained eye.
Top 5 Reasons to Schedule Your Child’s Orthodontist Appointment
- Treat problems early. Give your child a head start for proper jaw growth and alignment. Early treatment gives an orthodontist the opportunity to guide jaw growth, improve the health and function of your child’s bite, and lower the risk of trauma to protruded teeth. Early care can also help to correct harmful oral habits like thumb sucking, which is discussed next.
- Correct harmful oral habits. Does your child suck on his or her thumb or fingers? While these behaviours more seem perfectly normal and even “cute”, they can affect your child’s bite and teeth alignment. Common problems related to thumb or finger sucking include protrusive upper front teeth, tipped back lower front teeth, an open bite, and a cross bite. For children over the age of five, breaking a thumb or finger sucking behaviour can be very tricky, but with gentle supervision, it is possible. If your child is struggling to break this habit, an orthodontist can offer helpful suggestions.
- Get treatment from a specialist. While your family dentist plays an important role in keeping your child’s teeth strong and healthy, a dentist has not completed the same specialized training that an orthodontist will have received. Only an orthodontist specializes in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. A Halifax orthodontist is specially trained to identify jaw and palette growth problems.
- Check breathing. Does your child snore at night? While you might not think about snoring as a serious problem, snoring and sleep apnea could be related to breathing problems tied to your child’s teeth or jaw. Orthodontists are trained to treat snoring and sleep apnea that’s associated with problems in the mouth.
- Check permanent teeth before they show. By taking an X-ray, an orthodontist can predict how your child’s teeth will come in. This X-ray can reveal future problems that may lead to overcrowding or painful protrusions. Early surgical removal can reduce the oral health issues associated with these problems, including lowering the risk for trauma to your child’s permanent teeth.
An orthodontist’s goal is to provide every patient with superior care and age-appropriate treatment. By working together with your family dentist, an orthodontist can diagnose and address potential problems before more serious oral health issues develop. In many cases, this may simply be a “wait and see” approach. But for other children, early treatment can give them a head start on preparing their jaw or palette for growth and reduce the risk for over crowding complications.
There are many affordable and effective solutions available to you for ensuring your child gets the safest and best orthodontic care. Docbraces offers a handy and easy-to-understand manual, A Parent’s Guide to the Benefits of Braces, for FREE download. Check it out to stay on top of the best options available to you and