Should Your Child Visit an Orthodontist?

Dental health is especially important at a young age. If you have a young child, you probably have taken care of early dentist visits and set the groundwork of good dental health for your child’s entire life. However, you may have heard that it is a good idea to visit an orthodontist for your child too. If you are not aware, orthodontics is a specialization of dentistry that deals with improper tooth position. It may seem like going to a specialist so early is completely unnecessary. Many parents feel the same way. This simple guide will explain what is really necessary and what you need to know about your child’s orthodontic needs.

Is an Orthodontist Visit Necessary?

It is recommended that young children visit an orthodontist. If a tooth is in the wrong position, it usually takes years to correct the issue. This means it is best to visit the orthodontist early to get started. In many cases, the issue may be less severe if it is caught early. As teeth continue to grow and develop, they may grow into the wrong places. This can be prevented if corrective measures are taken while the teeth are still in the process of growing, rather than after they are all set. If your child still has some baby teeth, it is not too early. Your goal for your first orthodontist visit should be to learn:

  • Is there a problem with my child’s teeth positions?
  • How many options are there to correct the problem?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • Do any teeth need to be removed?
  • How much will treatment cost?

When Is the Right Time?

Now that you know visiting an orthodontist early is beneficial, the question becomes when is the right time to go? The general answer to this question is when your child is seven years old. At this age, most children have a mixture of their baby and permanent teeth, which is the perfect time to have an orthodontic examination. Baby tooth position is not very important, so it can usually wait until some of them start to fall out. Keep in mind that every child is different, and yours may not start losing baby teeth at the typical age. Also, if you think there is an issue with your child’s tooth position, you should not wait to visit an orthodontist, like an orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, from John Redmond Orthodontics, no matter how young your child is. Your regular dentist should be able to give you more information about when to visit and who might be a good orthodontist for a child.