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Does My Child Need an Early Orthodontic Evaluation?

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just important for teens. Your child’s bite and jaw alignment is critical for optimal health and wellbeing. Sometimes, trouble can come up early on, leading to significant problems later. This can be averted with an early orthodontic evaluation. The ideal age to start getting your child’s bite evaluated is age 7. Finger and thumb sucking, mouth breathing, clicking jaws, malocclusion, crowding, and impacted teeth are all issues that might need early intervention. Here are three important reasons to bring your child in for an early orthodontic evaluation.

Make Room for Erupting Teeth

Mild crowding of adult teeth is normal and can often wait to be addressed until your child is ready for braces. However, some types of crowding should be addressed early, while the bones are malleable and in the growing stage. Common examples of this are crossbite, impacted teeth, and severe crowding. If your child is experiencing any of these issues, your orthodontist may recommend a palatal expander. By widening a too-narrow jaw with a palatal expander, you can avoid jaw pain, excessive wear on the enamel, tooth extraction, and even corrective jaw surgery. 

Correct Unhealthy Swallow Patterns

Sometimes, a child’s misaligned bite is due to unhealthy habits, such as thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing, and incorrect swallow patterns. One common swallow pattern that causes bite misalignment is tongue thrusting. Tongue thrust is a swallowing pattern where the tongue pushes past the front teeth or spreads between the teeth, and it can lead to problems such as sleep apnea, teeth grinding, and crooked teeth. If the problem isn’t fixed before your child gets braces, it can lead to orthodontic relapse. Your orthodontist can correct bad habits early with therapy and retraining devices.

Shorten Treatment Time

With early intervention, treatment time is often shortened. The longer that problems are allowed to continue, the more invasive and difficult the treatment will be. Because young children’s bones can be adjusted more easily, early childhood is the best time to prepare the mouth for later orthodontic treatment. Your child shouldn’t have to undergo avoidable extractions or even surgery because they were brought in too late. 

Don’t wait for things to get out of control to bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation. By monitoring your child from age seven and on, we can provide the best experience possible, with the preferred treatment plan. Better yet, you can rest easy, knowing that we are on the lookout and that you don’t have to guess when your child is ready for braces. 

Protect your child’s precious smile by bringing her in today for an early orthodontic evaluation. Click here to learn more about how Sonneveld Orthodontics can give your child the very best care possible!