When to Take Your Child to the Orthodontist

When to Take Your Child to the Orthodontist
Posted on 01/16/2018

Orthodontics can greatly contribute to young children’s appearance and health. This why the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should take place at the first sign of problems or no later than age seven, even while there are still baby teeth in the mouth. Your child’s Lynnwood pediatric dentist is trained to identify bite issues in young children and can refer your child to a local orthodontist at the most appropriate time.

Not All Orthodontic Problems are Obvious

Even if your child’s teeth look perfectly fine to you and don’t appear crooked, there could still be some hidden problems with the way the adult teeth come in. It’s possible that your child has a developing problem with the alignment of the teeth or has a misaligned bite without you even knowing. He or she could also have a habit that could negatively impact tooth alignment such as thumb-sucking. By the time your child is seven, there are enough adult teeth in place for your orthodontist to spot developing problems like these.

Paving the Way for a Lifetime Full of Healthy & Happy Smiles

Once your child has undergone his or her first orthodontic evaluation, you may be told that your child doesn’t need to wear braces at all, which would be great news indeed! It’s also possible that your orthodontist wants to take a “wait and see” approach by monitoring the growth and development of the teeth and jaws to provide treatment later if need be. Either way, this early orthodontic evaluation helps ensure that your child can go through life enjoying all the benefits that come with having a smile that’s both attractive and healthy!

Signs To Watch For

There are some signs to watch for that could indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. If you notice any of the following with your child, consult with our Lynnwood and Bothell area pediatric dentist so we can refer you to one of our orthodontic partners.

  • The early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Problems biting or chewing food
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb- or finger-sucking
  • Teeth that look crowded or don’t seem to meet properly when biting down
  • Sounds coming from the jaw or a jaw that shifts out of place
  • Speech difficulties
  • Clenching or grinding the teeth

Questions? Contact Alderwood Children’s Dentistry!

Dr. Clint and his team are committed to helping all our patients achieve their best possible smiles that are both beautiful and healthy! If you have any questions about your child’s orthodontic health, please contact us and we’ll gladly answer them. If it’s time for your child to visit us for a checkup and professional cleaning, just call our office at (425) 775-5411 or request an appointment online.