When should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents schedule their child’s first orthodontic visit by age 7. It’s around this time that their little smiles have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and because their jaws are still developing, it’s important to monitor how adult teeth come in.
Without pediatric dental monitoring, crowding and other potential problems may make orthodontic treatment more challenging later in life. In addition, some kids benefit from “phase 1” treatment.
What is Orthodontic Growth Monitoring?
As your little one grows, your TDR Specialists in Orthodontics care team can help watch for orthodontic issues before they become more serious, making the work of orthodontics in their later years a lot easier. For example, we’ll monitor:
- Potential cross-bite and open bite development
- Obstructive breathing issues—is your child a mouth breather?
- Position of baby and permanent teeth
- Dental overcrowding or spacing which could hinder or affect permanent tooth development or position
- How permanent teeth come in
- Teeth at risk for injury or decay due to protrusion or overcrowding
- Harmful habits that may cause orthodontic problems (thumb sucking)
- Oral hygiene and overall dental health
- A balanced facial appearance
What is Phase 1 Treatment?
While your child’s teeth may look straight, there could be a problem only an orthodontist can detect. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
And while treatment isn’t included as part of free growth monitoring, early treatment (also called Phase 1 treatment), could prevent more serious problems from developing that may not be possible to correct with braces alone after your child’s jaws finish growing.
Early treatment can give your orthodontist the chance to:
- Align jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem
- Avoid extractions of permanent teeth
- Correct teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
We Make Orthodontics Fun for Kids
Our goal is that, whether it be their own appointments or they’re just tagging along with a sibling, kids love coming to see us while learning how important taking care of their smiles is in the process.
It’s easy (and did we mention FUN?). Schedule your first FREE orthodontic consultation, and get ready to watch their smile grow!
Breathe easy. Smile confidently.
Millions of children, teens, and adults suffer from airway problems—some without knowing. And because you’ll likely see us more than your regular doctor, every TDR patient, of every age, gets an airway screening as part of their comprehensive orthodontic exam.
It’s just one of the ways we use technology and teamwork to deliver the very best care, in the most efficient way possible. Let’s get you smiling more, starting today!