When Should My Child Be Referred to an Orthodontist?

Posted on 07/10/2017 by Dr. Lovrovich
Close up of young boy's braces on teeth.

Children seem to be getting braces younger these days. Besides younger, it seems that more and more of them have braces. Orthodontics is about more than just straightening your child’s teeth. As with all areas of dentistry, orthodontics is a constantly advancing science, and while it advances, increasingly parents are being educated about the importance of orthodontics as well. The American Dental Association recommends children meet with an orthodontist by the age of 7.

Why should my child see an orthodontist so young?

What many parents are unaware of is that most orthodontic problems can be spotted and evaluated by the time a child is seven. By the age of 7, your child should have at least four of their permanent molars and four of their permanent incisors, or front teeth. If the orthodontist finds that there are more or less teeth than predicted, there is potential for problems with overcrowding, missing teeth, or extra teeth. Occasionally, your orthodontist may recommend removing a primary tooth early or placing spacers if a tooth has been lost prematurely. Getting an early start can prevent larger problems later on.

Your child can benefit from an appointment with an orthodontist, they can treat kids for a variety of problems, including: crowded teeth, overlapping teeth or jaw size and permanent tooth development. If your child is experiencing jaw problems, it may be due to tooth decay, and making those corrections early can be vital to their oral health.

Some children lose their baby teeth too soon or are still sucking their thumbs, these are all issues your orthodontist can work on and correct. Whether the problem is genetic, inherited, or from injury, or more, an orthodontist can reset their course of oral health development. Please contact us if you have any questions about braces.

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