I’m often asked about the best time to have children evaluated for orthodontic treatment. The challenge is that (as we all know!) every kid is different. However, a good milestone is around age seven, when a child’s jaw is developed enough, and he or she has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to tell if there are any current issues… or any that may come up down the line.
We talk a lot about early intervention in orthodontics because there are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child, including shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. That’s because, when we see children early enough, we can minimize crowding to make room for teeth that have yet to come in, help to guide jaw growth and work to correct the results of bad habits like thumb sucking before they turn into larger orthodontic issues.
That aside, there are signs that you can look for that will help you to identify when is the right time for a visit to the orthodontist:
- Particularly early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting into food
- Grinding and/or clenching of teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or other finger sucking
- Teeth that look crowded in the mouth
- Jaw shifts or jaw noises like popping
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all
- Jaw and teeth that do not appear to be proportionate to your child’s face
Keep in mind that these signs do not guarantee that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation may be a good idea.
Do some of these signs look familiar to you?
At Whitlock Orthodontics we encourage families with kids age seven and up to be a part of our start of year BREATHE (Right) GROW (Strong) LIVE (like a rockstar) campaign! Click here or give our office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment!
PS Did you know that we offer Hummer pick-ups from the local schools so that you don’t have to leave work to bring your kids back and forth to appointments?? #TimeSaver #CrushingIt
Don’t feel like clicking? Give us a call at any one of our three local offices:
Springdale: (479) 751-1103 | Fayetteville: (479) 527-6998 | Fort Smith: (479) 434-4332