No parent is in a hurry to take their child to see an orthodontist. Given the stress — emotional and even financial — that can be associated with kids’ orthodontics in Vaughan, that’s understandable. You know what’s worse than seeing an orthodontist earlier than necessary, though? Seeing one for the first time much later than you could have. Here’s an introduction to things to consider when deciding when to take your child to see an orthodontist for the first time.
What are the signs you should be watching for to know when your child might be showing signs that she’ll benefit from orthodontics near you:
- If you child seems to be having problems biting or chewing
- If he bites his lips or cheeks while chewing
- His teeth do not seem to be straight and his upper and lower teeth don’t seem to meet evenly
- One or both jaws seems to small to provide enough space for all their teeth
- He has lost baby teeth unusually early or those baby teeth seem to be staying around too long
- The emergence of permanent teeth is overcrowding one or both jaws
- He is having difficulty learning to speak or speaking clearly
Even if those early indications seem to emerge at an age when a child seems too young to undergo orthodontic treatment, an early assessment can identify underlying issues that could be addressed with an early intervention or might simply warrant a wait-and-see watching brief. The most common age for children to begin orthodontics treatment near you is at approximately 11 years of age. However, there are several additional signs that a child might benefit from earlier interventions than that.
- If your child tends to breathe through his mouth frequently
- If your child sucks his thumb beyond his sixth birthday
- If your child has protruding upper or lower teeth
- If your child’s jaws appear to shift sideways when he opens or closes his mouth
- If, at age seven or eight, his front teeth appear crowded
- If you hear a clicking or popping sound while your child opens or closes his jaw
Even if — as one hopes — your child is not showing any of those signs of potential orthodontic issues, you should take him to see an orthodontist at a dental clinic in Vaughan once their first permanent molars have arrived. It’s easier and more appropriate to recommend a first-visit based on the timing of those molars than a particular age simply because dental age (based on development of permanent teeth) and chronological age are not necessarily the same and no two children develop in precisely the same way or at the same rate.
Typically, though, those first permanent molars begin to arrive between the age of six and eight. It may not be coincidental, then, that so many dentists that specialize in kids’ orthodontics in Vaughan recommend seeing your child for the first time around the age of seven. The Canadian Orthodontic Association, for example, suggests a first visit between the age of seven and nine.
At that first meeting between parents, child and orthodontist, your child’s orthodontist will: look for and identify present or future orthodontic issues; determine the best treatment options for dealing with any potential challenges; decide if any baby teeth should extracted to allow comfortable development of your child’s permanent teeth; and provide an estimate as to the length and cost of any treatment plans.
No matter how old your children are, don’t hesitate to call a dentist near you at any time and any age if you are concerned about your child’s dental development. The best case scenario? You’ll be assured that there’s nothing to be concerned about. The worst? You’ll get a head start on dealing with issues before they become more complicated and expensive to resolve.