Orthodontics for Children
For parents, it’s not easy to know if your son or daughter will need orthodontic treatment, or when is the best time for an initial orthodontic evaluation. While there is no exact age for children to begin treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting your orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth as well as mature enough jaw and facial development to allow Dr. Willes to detect and diagnose tooth and jaw problems sooner. Early diagnosis helps him create a plan for any future treatment which will be the most healthy, efficient, economical, and least invasive.
Usually children won’t start treatment this young, but sometimes early intervention is most effective. And knowing what the problems are now allows for the best planning of timing and treatment, for both Dr. Willes and your family.
Early treatment enables an orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now could give your youngster a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.