Did you know that many dentists recommend that children get their first consultation with an orthodontist when they are seven years old? Why do they recommend this for such young children? Parents may wonder if a child can possibly have orthodontic issues while they still have their baby teeth. The fact is, they can. Addressing any potential issues while a child is still young could mean that child doesn't need braces later. If braces are needed, the time for placing them can be pinpointed right away, thus causing the treatment time to be shorter and cost parents less money out of pocket. Here are three reasons why children should get this important dental service by age 7.
1. A Child's Face and Jaw Are In a More Fixed Position At Age Seven
Before age seven, a child's face and jaw are still growing and morphing. An orthodontist can only make an educated guess as to how the face and jaw will ultimately be placed before this age. At age seven, things are a bit more settled in a child's face and jaw. This makes seven the perfect age for a first orthodontic visit.
A child should get a consultation with an orthodontist at age seven because the doctor will be able to spot any problems that are forming with the face, jaw, and placement of the teeth at this point. While most early orthodontic visits will simply be consultations, the doctor may pinpoint things to keep an eye on at regular annual visits thereafter.
In some cases, appliances may be recommended at the first visit to help the child's face and jaw stay in alignment. It is always better to catch and correct these things early.
2. Even Children With Baby Teeth May Need Braces
While it is unusual, some children who still have some or all of their baby teeth may need braces. Some of these children will have to get a second set of braces when their permanent teeth come in, while others will only need braces with their baby teeth.
The way baby teeth are placed can affect the placement of permanent teeth when they erupt. The baby teeth act as pathways for the permanent teeth to follow when they come in. If the baby teeth aren't in the correct positions, the permanent teeth won't be, either.
By getting braces before the permanent teeth break the gum line, you can ensure your child has straight teeth for a lifetime. Orthodontists can usually tell if this type of intervention is necessary by age seven on a child.
3. Problems With the Bite Can Be Corrected Before They Become Permanent
Once your child's jaw is pretty settled at age seven, it will either show normal or problematic placement. By age seven, an orthodontist will be able to see if your child is developing a crossbite, underbite, or overbite.
There are jaw expanders that can be used to correct this problem now, while the problem is still developing. If you wait until your child is older to go to the orthodontist, such problems may require surgery to correct, if they can be corrected at all.
According to Orlando Family Magazine, thumb sucking sometimes causes these bite problems, and is common in young children. Your orthodontist will be able to use devices to stop thumb sucking and protect your child's bite if you bring your child in early enough to get effective treatment.
Many parents never consider orthodontics as among the essential dental services for very young children. However, that first appointment by age seven is more important than you ever imagined. Many orthodontic problems can begin around this age.
If you get them corrected right away, you will save you and your child a lot of hassle, not to mention a lot of money, in the long run. Call an orthodontist and make your child's first appointment today. Click here for more information on dental services.