Seven Reasons Your Seven-Year-Old Should See an Orthodontist
When it comes to providing proper dental care for growing kids, deciding when to see the orthodontist can be a big step. While most referrals come at the advisement of a family dentist, sometimes parents must decide whether or not their child is ready. In addition, parents must sort through all the different reasons for seeking orthodontic treatment. Some children have severe over-or-underbites, while others need to expand their palates to make room for their adult teeth. In other cases, orthodontic treatment is needed to fix dental issues caused by thumb sucking or some other sort of accident.
Seeing as there are various reasons for visiting the orthodontist, knowing when to schedule that first appointment is key to getting children the care they need before it’s too late. As mentioned before, many family doctors will make the recommendation at a bi-annual check-up, but knowing an age estimate ahead of time can help parents better prepare for what orthodontic procedures might entail. While there is no specific age that all patients see an orthodontist (some go earlier than others, and some go well into adulthood), the recommended age is seven years old. Typically, at this age, children have lost many of their baby teeth and their adult set is starting to come in. This makes obvious any issues that may need orthodontic resolution and therefore, is a great age to make a first appointment. If you’re wondering what the other benefits to seeing an orthodontist at an early age are, check out our seven reasons you should make an appointment for your seven-year-old.
1. Catch Bad Habits Early
One of the biggest reasons to see an orthodontist early is that an orthodontist can identify any detrimental bad habits early on that might interfere with treatment. A lot of patients in need of orthodontic work have trouble with thumb sucking, amongst other issues, which can lead to changes in palate formation. Visiting an orthodontist can help parents and children learn how to beat bad oral care habits in the pursuit of a better orthodontic experience.
2. Avoiding Issues with Adult Teeth
Visiting an orthodontist early can guide the growth of a child’s jaw, meaning that children are less likely to have severe dental issues down the line. Proper jaw growth can help children fix over-or-underbites and can ensure that there is enough space for all adult teeth to come in properly. Improper jaw growth can cause overcrowding, impacted teeth, and abnormal speech patterns if it isn’t corrected at an early age.
3. Less Invasive and Costly
Starting orthodontic treatment at an early age can lessen the amount of work that needs to be done at a later age. This typically tends to cost less for parents and means less intensive procedures later on for children. Because adult teeth are usually still growing in at this time, early orthodontic work is great for beginning treatment for significant issues. Though it can’t be predetermined whether early orthodontic work will mean a child won’t need braces later on, a properly guided jaw can mean that if a child does need further treatment, it will be condensed and less severe.
4. Better Long-Term Results
As mentioned before, because the treatment is started early and significant issues find solutions more quickly, the long-term results are typically better. If treatment is started after the jaw growth period has ended, it can be more difficult and invasive to fix those issues. Additionally, it can be more difficult to get optimal results because the jaw is less malleable than it is during the early stages of growth. Seeing an orthodontist at an early age is the only way to ensure optimal results.
5. Problems Can Be Identified Early
Along the same lines as identifying bad habits early, comes identifying potential issues that may arrive down the line. Orthodontists can look at a child’s x-rays and determine where problems may arise from lack of space or jaw alignment. It also gives orthodontists more flexibility as far as when they decide to actually start treatment procedures. This allows the orthodontist to recommend preliminary treatments or begin treatments that will prevent those problems from showing up in the future.
6. You’ll Find the Right Time
There is no hard and fast rule for when to see the orthodontist but going early can ensure that you won’t miss the right time for your child. Everyone’s jaw matures at a different time, so just going do an initial consultation can give you a lot of information. Orthodontists specialize in determining when and what kind of treatment is necessary, so consulting an expert with your child at an early age is essential to making sure they receive the right kind of orthodontic care.
7. Boosting Self-Confidence
At the end of the day, the best reason to see an orthodontist early is that it can boost your child’s self-confidence. Getting braces or any sort of orthodontic work can be incredibly nerve wracking and some kids may be embarrassed by their under-or-overbite, or about having crooked teeth. By taking the preliminary steps and making an appointment early in your child’s life, you can help them understand the road towards a healthy, happy smile.
When it comes to doing what’s best for your children, making sure they receive the kind of dental and orthodontic care they require is a must. Whether it’s a checkup, a consultation or a fitting for braces, taking your child to the orthodontist at an early age is the only way to ensure their dental needs are being met. Though there is no set age at which to schedule your first appointment, seven-years-old is recommended by most dentists and orthodontists. This allows specialists to assess the mouth before it has finished growing and can give them the opportunity to set forth a timeline for which treatment can be given.
At the office of Beanca Chu, DDS, Dr. Chu will consult with you to help determine when the right time is for your child to visit our in-house orthodontist, Dr. Shawn Yu. If you’re searching for a professional, experienced, and kind pediatric dentist in Huntington Beach, the office of Dr. Beanca Chu, DDS is the right choice. Contact us today!