Orthodontics plays an important part in both your child’s health and the appearance of their smile. Early detection and prevention is the key to their future oral health, so read on to find out more about children’s orthodontics.
When Should My Child First See an Orthodontist?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic appointment around the age of 6 or 7. This is the stage at which adult teeth usually appear and enough baby teeth will have erupted for developmental issues to become clear. At this stage, your orthodontist will decide whether treatment is necessary straight away or if it would be better to wait until your child is a little older.
Early Intervention is Key
Early intervention in your child’s orthodontic issues aims to reduce or eliminate the need for further treatment in later life. As a parent, early treatment can represent huge potential savings on more serious treatment at a later date as well as avoiding the stress of oral surgery. Professional treatment of tooth alignment or jaw issues at an early age can set your child up with a beautiful healthy smile for life.
Why Does My Young Child Need Treatment?
In some circumstances, it is recommended to postpone treatment for a few years but in many cases, your orthodontist will choose to intervene as early as possible when there is something wrong. A young child’s teeth and jaws are easier to shape so treatment is much simpler than on a fully-grown adult mouth. Your orthodontist’s goal is not just to fix problems but to prevent them occurring in the future.
Childhood Orthodontic Treatments
The most common orthodontic treatment for children is a brace or retainer . These are designed to correct misalignment which is both a functional and aesthetic issue. If severe misalignment goes untreated, this can cause problems with eating and speaking in later life as well as self-confidence issues from having a crooked smile.
Braces for children are very common and can be made to look as subtle or brightly-coloured as your child would like. Other problems such as protruding teeth, overcrowding, poor bite alignment or congenitally missing teeth can be solved using specific treatment methods.
Signs Your Child Should Visit an Orthodontist
All children develop in their own way so it can be difficult to tell if your child’s teeth are growing in properly. However, there are a few warning signs to watch out for when monitoring your child’s oral health. If your child loses their baby teeth very early or late, has difficulty chewing or biting, or has teeth that seem to meet abnormally then it’s worth getting this checked by an orthodontic specialist.
In addition to this, there are several common oral habits amongst small children that can give rise to orthodontic issues in the future, such as thumb sucking, breathing through the mouth, tooth grinding and tongue thrusting.
To find out about how orthodontic treatment can help your child, call Tony Weir Orthodontics now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.