Your child has crooked teeth. You know that he or she will eventually need to see an orthodontist. The only question you have now is: when? What is the right age to schedule an orthodontic appointment for your child?
This is dependent on a few factors, including the orthodontic issue at hand, the developmental stage of the child, and complications that may arise in the future.
And while there’s no firmly established age at which it’s ideal for children to see an orthodontist, it’s usually best to get started as soon as the child’s permanent teeth have grown in (around 7 years of age). While the orthodontist might not be able to operate on the teeth at this age, he or she can assess them to determine future courses of action.
Looking for a little more information on the matter? Then read on. We’re going to cover it below.
Orthodontic Problems to Look Out For in Your Child
Kids can suffer from a wide variety of orthodontic issues. Not only can these issues affect the aesthetic of teeth, but the functionality of teeth as well.
In some cases, they can even lead to tooth, mouth, or jaw pain. As such, if they exist, they should be fixed sooner rather than later.
Wondering which orthodontic problems you should look out for in your child? The most common of these problems include the following.
One of the most common orthodontic problems suffered by human beings is crooked teeth. Teeth come in crooked for a variety of reasons. In some cases, pacifier usage is the culprit; In other cases, genetics are to blame.
However, regardless of why a person’s teeth are crooked, they can be straightened. In most cases, braces will do the trick. That said, in some cases, teeth might have to be extracted.
Some individuals grow to have undersized jaws. Unfortunately, when the jaw is undersized, the teeth don’t have enough room to grow correctly. As such, they end up being crooked.
This problem can sometimes be solved by braces alone. Note, however, that in many cases, a tooth or two might have to be extracted before braces are put on. If your child’s permanent teeth seem to be packed close together, you should consult with an orthodontist as soon as possible.
Another problem that can be corrected by orthodontists is an overbite. Overbites occur when the top jaw is too large or when the bottom jaw is too small (or both). Not only does it upset the aesthetic of the teeth, but, over time, it can also cause pain.
Overbites are most often corrected with the use of braces. However, in some cases, either jaw surgery or tooth extraction is needed.
The exact opposite of an overbite, an underbite occurs when the bottom jaw is larger than the top jaw. It results in the bottom row of teeth overlapping the top row of teeth and is characterized, in large part, by a jutting chin.
Like overbites, underbites are most typically corrected with braces. That said, in rare cases, tooth extraction and/or jaw surgery are need.
Whereas overbite refers to the top row of teeth overlapping the bottom row of teeth, and an underbite refers to the bottom row of teeth overlapping the top row of teeth, an uneven bite refers to the bottom and top sets of teeth being vertically misaligned. If your child’s teeth are offset from the center of his or her face, he or she has an uneven bite and would be well-served by seeing an orthodontist.
An uneven bite can be caused by many factors but is most often triggered by muscle straining in the jaw. If your child uses only one side of his or her mouth to chew gum, for instance, his or her teeth could shift to the side on which the gum-chewing occurs. This could cause a misalignment in the jaw, leading to substantial pain over time.
As such, it’s a good idea to have an uneven bite assessed by an orthodontist as soon as possible. By detecting the problem early in its existence, the orthodontist can establish a proper game plan, effectively minimizing the effects over time.
Does Age Affect the Efficacy of Braces?
Now, you might be wondering: does the patient’s age affect the efficacy of his or her braces? In some cases, it can.
Generally speaking, the teeth, jaws, and skull bones are easiest to physically manipulate when the patient is between 7 and 14 years of age. As such, if your child is going to get braces, he or she is advised to get them between these ages.
That said, older individuals can benefit from braces as well. The only difference is that, when an adult uses braces, the process usually takes longer than when a child or young teenager uses braces.
Options for Braces
For decades, the only types of braces available were the clunky metal versions. While those braces are still in existence (and still quite popular as well), there are two other options that can be utilized as well: ceramic braces and Invisalign braces.
Ceramic braces possess the same general form as metal braces. The only difference is that they’re made out of clear material as opposed to plastic.
Invisalign braces are made out of clear plastic and can be taken out whenever is necessary. As such, they don’t impair the user’s ability to chew hard food. Not to mention, they do very little to detract from the user’s aesthetic.
Need help choosing between the three? Speak with your local orthodontist!
Schedule an Orthodontic Appointment for Your Child in Rochester Hills, Michigan
Does your child suffer from crooked or misaligned teeth? Looking to schedule an orthodontic appointment for your child in Rochester Hills, Michigan? If so, TDR is the orthodontic office to call.
Whether your child is dealing with overcrowded teeth, an overbite, or otherwise, we can help. Offering traditional metal and Invisalign braces, we accommodate all orthodontic preferences.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!