Most people won’t need orthodontic care until they are in their early teens or young adult years. But some children will need early orthodontic care because of genetics or problems that appear in their childhood. The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that all children be seen by an orthodontist at age 7. This will help the orthodontist monitor your child’s growth and development and catch any major problems early, saving you time and money. There are some common signs that you can watch for that will help you know if your child needs early orthodontic care. These signs can help you get them the care they need before their oral health is permanently affected.
1- Teeth Stick Out Too Far
If your child’s front teeth stick out and sit far in front of the bottom teeth, this is called an overjet bite. Not only does an overjet affect the appearance of the teeth but having a significant overjet can increase the risk of chipping or losing the teeth prematurely due to an increased trauma risk.
An underbite is when the bottom teeth extend beyond the top teeth, making it appear that the lower jaw is pushing forward. It is important to have a child who presents with an underbite to be seen by an orthodontist. Underbites rarely fix themselves naturally, but there are some early treatment options that can be taken during early growth and development that can help prevent the problem from getting worse.
3- Crossbite or Open Bite
A crossbite is a bite problem where the top teeth and bottom teeth do not come together correctly when your child bites down. Crossbites can be caused by either tooth position or jaw position, or a combination of both. Signs of a crossbite may be that your child cannot fully close their mouth so that both rows of teeth touch one another. This is a major sign that you should seek early orthodontic care.
An open bite is a type of bite where the top and bottom teeth do not touch each other in the front of the mouth when it is fully closed. This can be especially problematic for patients when they are trying to bite down and can also cause speech issues.
4- Teeth That Do Not Come In Properly Or At All
Children generally begin showing teeth around 6 months, but adult teeth won’t start to come in until around age 6 or 7. Keeping track of these adult teeth and the rate they come in will help you to know when your child is ready for braces. A consultation with an orthodontist can help give parents expert advice and tips on how to help their child have the best oral health possible.
Sometimes children have teeth that are trapped, do not come in at all, or are missing altogether. Having gaps in your smile not only affects self-confidence but can also affect your overall oral health. Making a plan for teeth that are missing is a great reason to consider an early orthodontic consultation.
5- Self Esteem or Bullying Issues
Here at Bailey Orthodontics, we understand that sometimes orthodontics is more than just fixing a dental problem. Sometimes it can mean boosting someone’s self-confidence or alleviating self-esteem and bullying issues. Anyone can be a victim of bullying, but research shows that children with dental abnormalities are highly vulnerable to increased negative actions by their peers. Early orthodontic care can limit painful surgery, and misaligned teeth, and improve children’s mental image of themselves.
6- Mouth Breathing Or Snoring
Does your child snore or breathe with their mouth open? Snoring and open-mouth breathing can be a sign of oral problems. While not all mouth breathers have problems with their teeth, it is safer to have children evaluated early to prevent additional issues down the road.
Getting Early Orthodontic Care With Bailey Orthodontics
Bailey Orthodontics offers a 7 and Up Kids Club to help prepare children for orthodontic care. This club helps us monitor your child’s oral health and habits to ensure that they get the proper care at the right time.
Orthodontic treatment can make your oral health seem like less of a chore. Braces and aligners that are implemented early help to set you up for success. Bailey Orthodontics works with patients of all ages to give them better jaw function, healthier teeth, and more confidence in their smile. If you are interested in our 7 and Up Kids Club, schedule an appointment with our office or give us a call at 801-292-1222 today!