Your kid is growing, and you are wondering if it is the right time to see an orthodontist yet. They still have tons of baby teeth left and they have just started losing some of those baby teeth. Permanent teeth are starting to come in and they look crooked, they are chubby and look yellow! You wonder if this is what they are supposed to look like! American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first visit to orthodontist be done as early as age 7. Most kids do not need any early intervention. A visit to orthodontist just reassures you that everything is looking ok. For those who do not need any immediate intervention, regular monitoring is done every 6-12 months by the orthodontist until it is time to start the treatment. A smaller group of kids, however, need an early intervention. Here are some of the signs to look for that usually determines if early intervention is required:
- Teeth that are sticking out
We call that protrusion of the teeth. If your kid’s teeth are sticking out, there is a greater chance for teeth getting knocked out due to trauma. Moving the teeth back greatly reduced the chance damage to the front teeth. Your orthodontist will be able to give you more information after a thorough exam
- Incorrect bite
I like to refer to the bottom teeth as a shoe box and the top teeth as the lid for the box. The lid is supposed to cover the teeth in all aspects. Sometimes that is not the case and the lid and the box are reversed. That usually requires immediate attention and fixing that bite at an early age simplifies the treatment. This type of bite is usually referred to as crossbite or underbite.
You might notice a deviation in the jaw as soon as your kid closes their mouth. When open, it looks symmetric, but when they fully close, they shift their jaw to one side. That is usually a sign that immediate orthodontic intervention is required. If left alone, the asymmetry and jaw deviation could become permanent, but when treated early, they will be eliminated. Remember, not all asymmetries are due to a dental problem and not all of them can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will be able to determine that after a thorough exam.
If my kid needs treatment, what are my options?
Technology has advanced tremendously over the last few decades and orthodontics has advanced just as much. Orthodontic treatment does not necessarily mean braces. Kid can do Invisalign as well. Your orthodontist will be able to determine if your kid is a good candidate for Invisalign. The greatest advantage of Invisalign is kid is hassle-free brushing and oral hygiene maintenance. You also do not need to worry about emergencies.
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