When is the best time for your child to have their first orthodontic examination? Some might say once all their teeth come in, but the American Association of Orthodontics recommends a first exam no later than age seven, and earlier if there is any sign of a problem. At seven years, a child’s permanent teeth are in position to replace the baby teeth. If any malocclusions are developing, this is the best time to decide on how to manage them. Using the latest methods and technology, the Marconi Dental Group in Sacramento verifies your child’s teeth are coming in properly, or creates a plan to make certain that they do.
When Prudence Calls
If there are any issues detected, your Sacramento dentist goes over the findings with you. Depending on those findings, there are a few circumstances that are best treated once they are detected.
- Severe Crossbite — When the upper and lower teeth do not align properly, it generally leads to things like biting problems or impacted teeth. Specialized treatments include appliances that gradually correct the issue with little discomfort. Waiting until later could lead to oral surgery as the only option, so addressing a severe crossbite early is important.
- Tooth Crowding — If a child’s permanent teeth start coming in before their jaw can accommodate them, tooth crowding is the result. Besides being somewhat unsightly and making it difficult to clean the teeth, tooth crowding can also lead to severe crossbite with permanent teeth. Orthodontic treatments at this stage are typically the best option. Though it doesn’t rule out the possibility of orthodontics later, it could greatly reduce how long those treatments are needed.
- Protruding Teeth — Often referred to as “buck teeth,” this malocclusion negatively affects your child’s self-image and appearance. Some children with buck teeth report having difficulty chewing, swallowing, or even speaking. Early detection and treatment of protruding teeth reduces such symptoms, and the procedures needed to correct them take less time.
Other behaviors, like thumb sucking or mouth breathing during sleep, are commonly related to dental issues. Early orthodontic checkups help determine the reason for these behaviors, and to take steps to resolve them. To discuss your child’s first orthodontic exam, call us today or contact us online.