More than 3.5 million kids start braces every year, so you probably won’t be all that surprised if your child’s dentist tells you your little one needs them as well one day. However, they may recommend it much sooner than you think! In fact, your Milford pediatric dentist may encourage you to take your son or daughter to an orthodontist even while they still have some baby teeth! While this may seem too young, early detection and intervention for orthodontic issues can save you and your child a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run. Read on to find out how as well as signs that could mean your little one needs braces.
When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that all children see an orthodontist at the age of seven. This doesn’t mean this is when they need to be fitted with braces! The focus of this initial evaluation is to see how your child’s mouth is developing, if they’re on track, and identify any warning signs of orthodontic issues. Your child’s first set of permanent molars will likely come in around the age of six or seven, which an orthodontist can look at to predict how your little one’s bite will form over the coming years.
Early Intervention Can Save You Time & Money
Most children won’t need any sort of treatment during this first orthodontic appointment. The primary focus will be on what you can expect as your child’s mouth continues to grow, including what treatments they are likely to need and when. Typically, you’ll come back for periodic checkups every six to 12 months to monitor your little one’s development and talk about the possibility of orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign when they are 11-14 years old.
However, there are some cases where your orthodontist will recommend an early treatment for your child during their initial evaluation. This is called “phase one orthodontics.” Their primary goal is to begin correcting serious orthodontic issues as early as possible, while the teeth are still growing and easier to adjust. This can potentially save you a tremendous amount of time and money on more complex orthodontic treatments for your child later on when the issue has gotten much worse.
Signs Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment
As your son or daughter grows, you should be on the lookout for warning signs that they need to see an orthodontist, like:
- Overlapping, protruding, crooked, or gapped teeth.
- Bottom and top teeth don’t touch, or teeth don’t meet on either side.
- Non-nutritive habits like thumb-sucking.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth.
- Mouth breathing.
- Difficulty chewing or biting.
Remember, straight teeth aren’t just all about looks. Correcting misaligned teeth and bite problems will help your child eat and speak, feel confident, and develop a healthy smile. If you’re wondering if your child needs braces in Milford, give your dentist a call today!
About the Practice
At Simply Orthodontics, our goal is to help smiles of all ages in Milford look and feel their best. We’re proud to offer a wide range of treatments to help you or your child overcome nearly any orthodontic issue. With state-of-the-art technology and treatment plans that are 100% personalized, we go above and beyond to make getting a straighter, healthier smile as pleasant and effective as possible. If you’d like to learn more about braces for children, feel free to contact us online or at (508) 473-2002.