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When Should You Take Your Child to the Orthodontist?

There are some varying opinions about when the right age to take your child to an orthodontist is. The American Association of Orthodontists as well as other orthodontist associations around the world seems to have a general consensus that the right age to take your child is between the ages of six and eight.

Is this age too early? Isn’t this the age that children are beginning to lose their baby teeth? Can children at this age have braces? Indeed, children at this age may be beginning to lose their baby teeth. However, it is still advisable to take your children to see a professional at this stage.

Early Identification

It is precisely at this age when certain dental issues can be identified by professional orthodontists. It is important that orthodontists identify these problems at their earliest stage. It can help to reduce the effort and cost of reconstructive procedures.

Most parents may feel that since this is the age when kids lose their baby teeth, it may not be the best time to consult a professional or have their teeth examined. However, the loss of baby teeth can in itself help to identify dental issues your child may have.

Baby teeth are lost in a fairly similar process. There is a biological pattern that determines the right order. Incisors are lost first, followed by the first primary molars and later the last 12 teeth. If this order is not followed, it often indicates that there is a problem with crowding, missing or extra teeth. Therefore the orthodontist is in a position to identify these problems before they become serious issues that will require extensive and expensive procedures.

Correcting Dental Problems

Crowding: This is one of the issues that indicates that your child needs to have his teeth examined to determine the exact underlying problem. The orthodontist may determine if a tooth needs to be removed to correct the issue. He may also try to establish if there are other issues such as spacing which and what procedure is ideal to rectify it.

Alignment: Teeth can be aligned at this age or much later in life. There are however several reasons that professionals recommend that children should have their teeth rectified at this age. The first is that crooked teeth if left uncorrected can extensively damage the gum’s underlying tissues and cause a lot of trauma later on. The other reason is that crooked teeth can affect a child’s self esteem which may develop into their teenage and adult life.

Protruding Teeth: Protruding teeth is a common problem for young children between the ages of six and eight. This problem can prevent a child from having a normal bite because the front teeth do not align with the lower ones. While orthodontists do not completely rectify the problem at this stage, they often recommend solutions that will minimize the effect of an abnormal bite. The protruding teeth can be corrected sufficiently later on.

Consulting an Orthodontist

It is recommended that you should visit a professional when your child is between the ages of six or seven. At the very latest, the visit should be when your child is eight years of age. A qualified professional can identify these issues and have them corrected as early as possible. At this stage, the issues will be easier to correct and the results will be better and more accurate.

Additionally, your child’s self image is developing and you can successfully avert a self esteem issue caused by some of these dental complications. If you visit a first choice dental, you can get the examination for free. Therefore, there is no excuse not to take this crucial first step.

Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, is the best orthodontist Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!