If you have been talking with parents lately, you may have noticed as your children age that the talk increasingly shifts from dental care to orthodontic care. Many of your friends might think that it is too early to worry about taking their children to an orthodontist, because they are not in their teens. However, in a lot of cases, we can begin treating orthodontic problems earlier. We can begin treatment in middle to late childhood for a lot of orthodontic problems. If we begin early, we can save you time and money on your child’s care. Let Senestraro Family Orthodontics talk to you about the benefits of early orthodontics.
Why Early Orthodontic Care Is Important
If you are worried that your child’s teeth are crooked, poorly spaced, or you are worried about their bite, you may want to take him or her in for an orthodontic checkup. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children who may have an orthodontic problem need to be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7 years old. Age 7 is a good time for an orthodontic check-up because permanent teeth are growing in for most children. By age 7, children should have a mix of permanent and baby teeth so that the orthodontist can spot a difficulty with their teeth or their bite.
What Happens at a Checkup?
When you bring your child in for a checkup, we will look for problems with your child’s bite, teeth, or jaw alignment. We could spot several different problems. One problem we look for is a problem with the position of a child’s teeth, or their bite because the child sucked his or her thumb. Other problems we can look for might be related to teeth that are coming in on top of each other. With our digital technology, orthodontic exams are painless, so you can breathe easy when you bring your child in to see us.
Why Early Treatment?
We have found that when we treat some orthodontic problems early, we catch a dental issue before it becomes more serious. You may have a child with a top jaw that is bigger than their bottom jaw. We would fit your child with an appliance that would expand his or her upper jaw over time. Each time they come in to see us, we would work to expand the jaw with the appliance. Over time, their upper jaw would fit beautifully with the lower jaw. If they get treated early, your child may not need additional work like jaw surgery when they get older, or they may not need it as long. If you wait until your child is past puberty, their treatment may last longer.
Appliances are used frequently in orthodontics in childhood. Appliances work to gradually move your teeth. They can change the position of your jaw and teeth over time. In addition to appliances, your child might need to have a tooth removed, so that permanent teeth can grow. Do you have questions about your child’s teeth or their bite? Give Senestraro Family Orthodontics a call at (503) 694-9636. We would love to answer questions about your child’s orthodontic care.