Seven is the magic number in orthodontics.
Most kids won’t need treatment this early, and they’ll simply come in for occasional growth and development check-ups until the time is right. But if we do spot certain red flags, being proactive and intervening early can set children up for a healthier, more easily treated smile in the future.
What are the goals of early orthodontic treatment?
During early treatment, also called phase 1 orthodontic treatment, Dr. Clark and Dr. Talley can:
- Guide your child’s jaw growth to help the permanent teeth come in nice and straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches to improve the way the top and bottom teeth meet
- Create more room for crowded teeth
- Correct oral habits like thumb sucking and improve minor speech problems
- Make phase 2 treatment much easier and more predictable
- Help kids avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions or corrective jaw surgery later in life
What are some signs that my child should see an orthodontist?
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty biting or chewing food
- Mouth breathing
- Oral habits like finger or thumbsucking or tongue thrust
- Popping or clicking sounds when opening and closing the jaw
- Upper and lower teeth that don’t come together correctly or don’t meet at all
- Misplaced, crowded or blocked teeth
- Jaws and teeth that aren’t proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth at around age 7 or 8
It’s not always easy to tell if a child needs early orthodontic treatment just by looking at them. An orthodontist is trained to identify subtle signs of issues before they evolve into full-blown problems. Put your child on the path to smile success by scheduling an evaluation with us today!