Your pediatric dentist might refer your child for an orthodontic visit if he or she notices a problem during a regular checkup.
Even without a referral, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist before your child reaches age 7. An orthodontist is trained to spot problems even in young children and can intervene early to correct any issues with your child’s growth.
The orthodontist may recommend no treatment at all, based on this early checkup. A potential problem that warrants future monitoring might be identified. In some cases, a problem that will benefit from early orthodontic treatment will be identified. The main benefit of early orthodontic treatment is that it can be used to help guide your child’s permanent teeth into the proper position, giving them straighter teeth in adulthood and fewer problems associated with teeth that are misaligned.
Here are some of the orthodontic problems that can be corrected thanks to early intervention by an orthodontist:
- Underbites: This problem results when the lower front teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth
- Crossbites: This results when the jaw is misaligned to one side
- Not enough space in the mouth: Crowded teeth can cause permanent teeth to come in crooked
- Gaps between teeth: Orthodontic treatment can correct spaces between teeth
- Extra teeth or missing teeth: These problems can cause permanent teeth to grow in crooked
- Problems that affect teeth or jaw growth: Habits like thumb-sucking or pacifier-sucking can create long-term problems
The main thing to keep in mind is that problems that are detected and treated early by an orthodontist tend to have the best outcomes for your child later in life. Early orthodontic treatment options can include appliances that help guide the teeth into proper alignment over time, to the early removal of baby teeth so that permanent teeth will come in straight.
If your child has not had their first orthodontic checkup yet and you live in the Alexandria area, contact us to schedule an appointment!