When should your kids visit an orthodontist? Many orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) suggest you should take your kids to see one at around age 7. Why? Kids start to develop their permanent teeth at around that age. Orthodontists can ensure your kids’ permanent teeth develop well. But apart from this, here are several more reasons why you should take your child to see your family dentist at an early age:
Correct Harmful Oral Behavior
Taking your child to the orthodontist at an early age can help to correct potentially harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and extended pacifier use. Fixing these issues early on can prevent them from getting worse. For example, if not corrected early, prolonged pacifier use can misalign your child’s teeth. A visit to the local dentist can stop your child from adopting bad oral habits.
Resolve Sleep Apnea
If your child snores or gasps for air while sleeping, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder where breathing during sleep is irregular. While it is mainly caused by obesity, it can also be caused by an overbite in children. Working together with ENTs, orthodontists can treat sleep apnea and give your child a peaceful night’s sleep.
Create Room for Crowded Teeth
Overcrowding happens when the space in the mouth is inadequate for permanent teeth to grow straight. While it is commonly caused by having a small jaw, it can also be caused by failure to remove baby teeth early. Early visits to the children’s dentist can ensure your child’s over-retained milk teeth are removed to prevent overcrowding. On the other hand, if your child is found to have a small jaw, it can be widened to prevent overcrowding.
Aid Tooth Eruption
Early orthodontic treatment can enable the detection of any early issues that can affect your child’s teeth development. When you take your child to visit the dentist, x-rays can be done to check unerupted teeth. If it appears that there is inadequate room for your child’s teeth to erupt, your orthodontist can take measures to ensure they erupt properly.
Prevent Trauma to the Front Teeth
Taking your child to the orthodontist at age seven can reduce the front teeth from protruding. Protruding front teeth are more susceptible to dental trauma. While dental trauma can be treated in adolescence and adulthood using interventions such as modern dental implants, taking your child to the orthodontist early on can prevent it from happening.
Promote Oral Hygiene
While orthodontists are commonly associated with straightening teeth and treatments such as modern dental implants, braces, and Invisalign, they can promote your child’s oral health too. For instance, if your child has overcrowded teeth, cleaning them will be difficult. If left untreated, crowded teeth can lead to dental issues such as tooth decay, gum diseases, and even tooth loss. While these issues can be resolved in adulthood with treatments such as bridges, bone grafts, and modern dental implants, preventing them before they exacerbate is more prudent.
Last but not least, misaligned teeth can make your child feel self-conscious. Early orthodontic treatment can correct misaligned teeth and other issues that can dampen your child’s spirits. Thus, it can boost your child’s self-esteem and allow your child to smile with confidence.
Taking your child to the dentist at age seven can promote healthy teeth development and much more. To ensure your child’s teeth develop well, schedule an appointment with Lowell Dental Arts to give your child a radiant smile. And to learn more about our other treatments, such as root canal treatments, dentures, crowns, modern dental implants, and more, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.