Orthodontic treatment is highly important for children. However, many parents do not know the best time to take their kids to the dentist. Parents who want to enhance the smile and appearance of their children can take their kids to the orthodontist at any age. Nevertheless, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the first visit of your child to an orthodontist should be around the age of 7.
This might seem a bit too young or early, but it is best you visit an orthodontist as early as possible to prevent complicated dental issues that are common among children. An early visit will give your kid a head start on their treatment for any existing issues before it escalates.
Many parents are wary of orthodontic treatments for their kids at this tender age because they still have a few baby teeth. However, this process is very helpful for the orthodontic specialists to plan and get ready for whatever treatment the child might need. Whether it is Invisalign, expander, retainer, or braces, taking your 7-year-old to the orthodontist will help the specialist identify where the adult teeth will show up and how the new set of teeth will sit when all the baby teeth are out.
Reasons your kid should visit an orthodontic at age 7
Early identification of missing or extra teeth
On your child’s first visit, the specialist will examine your child with digital x-rays and photos. The orthodontist will examine your child’s teeth to make sure it is not falling out, and it is growing according to schedule. At age 7, the specialist will be able to identify issues such as missing or extra teeth and look for the perfect solution at that tender age to put the oral development of your child back on track.
Sometimes you might not see teeth because they are very slow to show up. It can take up to six months for the tooth of a child to erupt after losing the tooth, but this actually varies from one child to another. When children lose their teeth early, it results in crowding that may need to be taken care of by removing the permanent teeth if noticed too late.
The beauty of identifying these issues early enough is that the dentist can provide a better and much easier solution. Baby teeth allow for the easy use of corrective devices such as retainers, space maintainers, and braces, which will make the permanent teeth come out exactly where it ought to.
Sometimes, some children do get an extra one or two teeth; these teeth are referred to as extra teeth or supernumerary teeth. Most times, these extra teeth prevent the growth of the front teeth. If the orthodontist notices this in your child, they will extract the extra teeth and fix any alignment or eruption issue it might have caused.
Ensure proper teeth eruption
After the x-ray examination, the orthodontist can see the unerupted teeth of your child and their position beneath the gum line. If there is no space for the teeth to come in, they will erupt at an odd angle. Fortunately, proper orthodontic treatment can provide a perfect environment for the eruption of your child’s teeth. This will have a huge positive impact on the oral health and future treatment of your child.
If there is enough space for the teeth to erupt, chances are there might not be a need for any extraction. Clear aligners and braces can finish the remaining part of the job.
Correct harmful oral habits
The first visit of your child to an orthodontist is the best time to ask any question you have regarding harmful oral habits. You can ask questions about tongue thrusting, thumb/finger sucking, mouth breathing, teeth grinding, bottle use, or prolonged pacifier usage. The orthodontist will guide you on how to correct every harmful oral habit that your child has.
Studies have shown that thumb and finger sucking can cause narrow jaws and cross-bite, while tongue thrusting tends to wear out the back teeth prematurely. You will be given free advice on how to help your child avoid all these issues.
Earlier evaluations result in happier smiles
An early visit to an orthodontist is one of the best ways to give your child a healthy smile that they will grow up with. The jawbones of a child grow slowly when they are teenagers and stop growing, eventually. After this stage, any dental treatment that takes place will be highly invasive and will require more time for healing as well. Early treatment helps to prevent destructive bite patterns from damaging developing teeth or getting worse. It also helps to minimize the need for frequent and intense orthodontic treatment when they grow up.
Your child’s smile should be your priority, and taking them to an orthodontist at age 7 is one of the best ways to give them that dazzling smile, which they deserve.
Create enough space for crowded teeth
When the jaws are not large enough for the permanent teeth, crowded teeth are inevitable. Early loss of baby teeth and larger teeth can also cause crowded teeth. If a child loses their primary teeth prematurely because of decay or injury, the adjacent teeth can shift and fill in the missing space. This can affect the growth of the permanent teeth, which can result in teeth crowding.
At age 7, an orthodontist can determine if your child has teeth crowding and find a great solution to it. There are unique solutions to this issue, and the professional will examine your child and recommend the best possible solution.
Your child’s early visit to an orthodontist is extremely important, as it will help your child to get familiar and comfortable with the entire process. However, you need to make sure you visit a highly recommended and professional orthodontic specialist.