How To Know When Your Child Needs To See An Orthodontist
Although most children start seeing an orthodontist from ages 10-14 for braces, it is important to find out if your child requires early orthodontic treatment before these ages. If a child needs early treatment, it is often for preventative purposes. An orthodontist can alleviate and solve some dental problems more easily when the patient is a child, rather than a teenager. For example, making a child wear a retainer does not mean that there is no need for braces later in life, but it can help to make the braces treatment process smoother and more successful. Some reasons for early orthodontic treatment include:
- Protruding upper teeth
- Unattractive teeth
- Impacted teeth
Seeing an Orthodontist: Psychological Issues
In this day and age, unrealistic expectations of beauty cause many people of all ages to be troubled with body image issues. While it might appear to be harmless on the surface level, there are consequences of a judgmental society. Starting from a young age, your child can have irreversible damage to their self-esteem, causing more serious mental health issues later on in their lives.
How Old Should Your Child Be for Early Treatment?
An ideal age for your child to see an orthodontist would be between the ages 7-9. It would be beneficial to your child even if he or she does not have a full set of teeth yet. The orthodontist can examine the rate of the growth of your child’s jaw and palate, and whether their loss of baby teeth is normal. For some cases, it is clear at this stage whether or not they require braces treatment. Otherwise they will have to wait for their adult teeth to grow.
Intervention is recommended to almost half of all the children that see an orthodontist early. Although child orthodontic treatment might not start immediately, parents will be more aware of the treatment options.
Benefits of Seeking an Orthodontist at an Early Age
Treatment that occurs while your child’s jaw and palates are still growing can prevent the need for surgery. The expansion of the jaw to fix overcrowding can be fixed using an expander plate, which cannot be used once the palate fuses at a later age. Furthermore, it is definitely easier to convince your child to go for treatment at a younger age, compared to if they were a young adult!
Getting Treatment at An Older Age
With advances in orthodontic technology and knowledge, it is easier to achieve results that are more aesthetic. While they do not have the advantages of using the growth of their jaw and mouth to improve orthodontic treatment, the final result is still one that is enviable. Concealed options may span a longer duration, but their enhanced smile would make the waiting worthwhile. Regardless of the age of your child, be comforted that the visit to the orthodontist is free of obligations. The job of the orthodontist is to give a professional opinion, but ultimately it is up to you to discern whether if it is the right choice for your child to start treatment early.