When Should You Take Your Child to the Orthodontist for the First Time?
Posted on December 19, 2022
Are you thinking about taking your child to the orthodontist? That could not only be a good idea but a necessary one. The earlier they are seen by an orthodontist, the earlier issues can be identified. Early identification of dental problems could give you treatment options that may not be available if you wait until later. Here are some common topics parents often have questions about.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should see an orthodontist by age seven. At that time your child will likely have lost many of their baby teeth, but will still be lacking fully grown adult teeth. This is an ideal time for an orthodontic evaluation because the orthodontist can see how the teeth are coming in.
If you take your child to the orthodontist by age seven, it’s very likely that there won’t be any treatment prescribed at that time. Instead, if there are no pressing issues, the orthodontist will likely ask you to come back for regular evaluations over the next year or so. Bite abnormalities usually develop between the ages of six and 12, according to Mouth Healthy. The orthodontist will want to keep an eye on those potential issues as they develop. For this reason, orthodontic treatment usually starts between the ages of eight and 14.
One of the biggest reasons to go to the orthodontist while your child is young is because it may give you more options for treating bite abnormalities. For example, the orthodontist may be able to prescribe spacers or a retainer to wear as the adult teeth grow in. That could resolve much of the issue and minimize the need for braces later. In the long run, you could save money by starting orthodontic treatment earlier.
Dentists play a critical role in maintaining oral health and hygiene. However, you do not need a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist. This is a common misconception. An orthodontist is able to use their specialized tools and technology to identify bite abnormalities much earlier than a dentist may notice them.
If your child has started losing baby teeth and has adult teeth starting to grow, you can take them to an orthodontist any time you wish. Schedule an appointment soon to see what types of treatments your child may need in the future. Start by giving Bret Johnson Orthodontics a call today to see how we can help your child grow.