Most parents think of orthodontic treatment as a teenage thing. However, you should never wait until the teen years to have your child seen by an orthodontist. The recommended age for the initial consultation is no later than age 7. Phase 1 treatment might be necessary if your child has one of the following:
Serious Bite Issues
Some bite issues need to be addressed early on, while the mouth is at its most malleable and before serious problems arise. For example, a large underbite can cause undue wear and tear on the teeth as well as jaw pain. Overbites can damage both the lower gums and the hard palate. An open bite can cause problems with both speech and swallowing. It is always better to be safe than sorry and get your child’s bite checked.
A crossbite is another serious bite issue that can lead to long-term problems. Crossbites can cause jaw pain, shifting of the jaw, excessive wear and tear on the teeth, difficulty eating, and even speech impediments. If your child has a crossbite the orthodontist will likely recommend some form of early treatment. The specific treatment will depend on the reason for the crossbite. It can be due to mouth breathing, stubborn baby teeth, or simple genetics.
Improper Tongue Positioning
Something else that can lead to a crossbite is improper tongue positioning. Habits that are normal in infancy can cause problems when carried over into childhood. This includes thumb-sucking and tongue thrust. The first order of business will be to quit the thumb-sucking habit. If tongue thrust is what has caused your child’s crossbite, they may need a special appliance that will train the tongue to sit in the proper position. Once tongue thrust is addressed, the orthodontist will likely move on to phase 1 braces.
Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, so it is no wonder that many parents hope to wait as long as possible to bring their kids in. However, letting a serious issue go unchecked can lead to bigger problems down the road. It is best to address any concerns as soon as possible to ensure the best chance of success and to avoid long-term problems.
Do you suspect that your child might have a serious bite issue? Dr. Sonneveld and his team are here for you! Don’t spend another day worrying about your child’s bite. Contact Sonneveld Orthodontics today. Click here to learn more and to request an appointment!