You’ve probably heard another parent say it, or you have said it yourself. “Why do we need to see an Orthodontist so soon? The baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway.” There are many other factors to consider when you are thinking about orthodontic care for your kids. That is one of the many reasons that we offer a complimentary consultation at North Seattle Orthodontics. This allows Dr. Lyons to do a thorough exam and see if there is anything that can be done early to help avoid potential problems in the future. If everything looks good, you can pet the office dog and be on your way. If she sees anything that she thinks should be followed up on now, or at a later stage in life, she will let you and your Dentist know so you can plan accordingly. The AAO has put together this great list of reasons to visit an Orthodontist by age 7:
Seven Reasons to See an Orthodontist by Age 7 as suggested by the American Association of Orthodontist.
1. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS CAN BE IDENTIFIED EARLY. When children reach the age of 7, their adult molars have typically emerged to establish the backbite. This is when an orthodontist can access tooth relationships. This provides the orthodontist with insights on any potential problems, such as an overbite, underbite, crowded teeth or a gummy smile.
2. JAW GROWTH CAN BE GUIDED AT AN EARLY AGE. Some children require early orthodontic treatment to help guide jaw growth to ensure they have a proper bite. This early treatment can consist of using special orthodontic appliances to guide the growth of the jaw while the child is still developing and growing.
3. AN ORTHODONTIST CAN HELP BREAK BAD ORAL HABITS. Bad oral habits like thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting can cause misaligned teeth and changes to the jaw shape. There are various orthodontic treatments available to help correct these habits and the sooner they’re addressed, the less damage they may cause.
4. NON-ERUPTED TEETH CAN BE CHECKED. An orthodontist can take X-rays to see what is taking place underneath the gums such as the position and growth of bones and joints and the teeth that have yet to erupt. This allows the orthodontist to plan any necessary treatment early for the best possible outcome. Taking your child to the orthodontist early gives them the best opportunity to have a straight, healthy and beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.
5. EARLY TREATMENT CAN BE EASIER AND LESS COSTLY. Because it’s often easier to treat many types of orthodontic problems when a child is young, early treatment is often less complicated and less costly than treatment received later in life.
6. GIVES THE CHILD SELF-CONFIDENCE. Having straight teeth and a beautiful smile can provide a child with a big boost of self-confidence. When a child receives needed orthodontic treatment early in life, they will feel good about themselves and be proud to smile around others.
7. PAVES THE WAY TO A HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL SMILE. Taking your child to the orthodontist when they are young gives them the best opportunity to have a straight, healthy and beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.