One can begin their orthodontic treatment at any age. Whether you are 16 or 60, you are never late to get your teeth aligned to have a straighter and brighter smile. At Unique Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we offer orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages - children, teenagers, and adults- to help them achieve an aligned smile. However, we believe that quality orthodontics begins at a young age, and hence, we provide early orthodontic evaluations for kids.
As per the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. This is because this age is the best time to assess the child's skeletal development and identify their permanent teeth' position to correct malocclusions or incorrect jaw bone development easily. When your child is seven years old, he/she should have a mix of primary teeth and adult teeth, thus making it easier for the dentist to fix the tooth and jaw-related problems without any extractions.
Benefits of early orthodontic treatment
With an early orthodontic evaluation of a child, it is possible for the orthodontist to catch orthodontic issues like teeth misalignment at a young age and start the treatment if needed. However, early evaluation and detection of orthodontic concerns do not always mean that the treatment starts at a young age. Mostly, orthodontic treatment begins when the patient is between the ages of 9-14.
By identifying the orthodontic concerns at the young page and getting them treated, a child can enjoy the following benefits:
- Help fix and guide the growth of the child's jaw to enable straight eruption of the permanent teeth. Early intervention to correct jaw discrepancies can help them corrected without the need for corrective jaw surgery.
- Help to have more space for overcrowded teeth.
- Reduce the requirement of permanent tooth extractions to fix overcrowding of teeth.
- Reduces the risk of injury to the projected front or other malpositioned teeth.
- Improves the patient's appearance and self-esteem by fixing the aesthetics of the teeth.
- Helps to fix poor oral habits like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting.
- Helps to fix misplaced teeth and improper bite.
- Helps enhance the patient's facial symmetry.
Signs that Your Child May Need Orthodontic Evaluation and Treatment
Certain habits could mean that a child should visit an orthodontist as earlier as possible. These habits and symptoms include the following:
- Grinding of teeth
- Thumb sucking
- Breathing through mouth
- Difficulty in chewing food
- Biting cheeks or mouth roof
- Early or delayed teeth loss
Sometimes, these habits can indicate the onset of some orthodontic issues.
If your child hasn't met their orthodontist yet or if you recognize any of these habits in the child, call Unique Kids Pediatric Dentistry at (832) 930-7732 or schedule an appointment online.