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Ali Ghatri, DDS
When To Take Your Child To the Orthodontist

When To Take Your Child To the Orthodontist

How soon should you take your child to the Orthodontist? This is a common question that Orthodontists are asked by parents about their children. A child's first visit to the orthodontist is best at age seven. An early examination may reveal traces of a bigger problem that can be avoided if detected early. Most of the skeletal growth problems can be corrected early to minimize the need for more extensive treatments.

Usually, the child's dentist is a good source of information about when to visit an orthodontist. If you are more concerned about the appearance of your child's teeth, the following signs may be handy for you to refer to.

One of the most common problems with children is buck teeth. The term refers to a condition where the child's upper front teeth protrude way ahead of the lower front teeth. Not only can this appearance give a psychological complex to the child, the incidence of trauma-induced fracture is very high.

Deep bite or overbite is another common problem. With this problem the upper front teeth are covering the lower ones by more than 50 percent. If corrected early, treatment time can be drastically reduced.

Open bite and under bite are both very important problems that need attention at a very early age. Thumb sucking is an example of a problem that causes open bite. In open bite, the child's front teeth do not meet together when the mouth is closed. This causes difficulties when biting food with the front teeth and can be a cause for mouth breathing.

Under bite is a manifestation of hereditary problems of larger lower jaw or under developed upper jaw. With this condition, the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth when the child is biting down.

Other obvious problems, such as overcrowding or too much spacing are signs that should lead you to consider an orthodontic examination. If you notice any abnormal complaints from your child such as mouth breathing while sleeping or difficulty breathing, a visit to your orthodontist could discover an underlying problem and allow for more timely treatment and avoidance of more complications in the future.

This initial examination does not always result in immediate treatment, especially at age seven or eight, but will give you comprehensive information regarding your child's current or future needs.

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