Wondering when it’s the right time to take your child to the orthodontist? Here are three reasons you should get an orthodontist appointment for your kiddo scheduled now.
#1: You may notice something appears off but there are also some things the untrained eye won’t see.
Parents are often the first to recognize that something isn’t quite right about their child’s teeth or jaws. You may notice your child’s teeth not fitting together, difficulty chewing or biting, mouth breathing or other issues. When you notice something not quite right, it’s time to get it checked out. Sometimes it’s more than meets the eye. ⅔ of what goes on in your mouth happens below the surface. Your child may have impacted canines, preventing adult teeth from erupting properly. Let an orthodontist take a look and see what is below the surface with an x-ray. You do not have to wait for your general dentist to refer you because a referral is not needed to schedule an initial appointment with an orthodontist!
#2: The earlier, the better. Take them by age 7!
By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate if a problem exists or is developing. Most orthodontists take x-rays and photos to evaluate any concerns or potential problems with permanent teeth – such as extra teeth, missing teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.
Some problems lend themselves to early treatment and may prevent more serious problems from developing or intercept any issues from getting worse. For example, your child may benefit from a palatal expander which will widen the upper jaw while they are still young and the bone is still pliable – saving them from more costly and invasive orthodontic work down the road. Orthodontia also has been used as a tool to help with certain sleep issues. Sometimes baby teeth can be gently removed to guide the other permanent teeth into a better position. Consult with your orthodontist to learn more.
#3: You don’t need a dentist referral.
Parents may assume that their dentist will make a referral to an orthodontist when the time is right. A referral might not happen if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite. Why wait? Most AAO orthodontists offer free or low cost new patient exams and as stated earlier, no referral is needed! Call your local AAO orthodontist and schedule your child today!
Trust an AAO orthodontist
You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator.