When Should Kids See An Orthodontist?
It’s Orthodontic Health Awareness Month! Do your kids need to see the orthodontist soon?
Problems with kids teeth can arise as soon as baby teeth start to push through. Certain factors, such as premature loss of baby teeth, or thumb or pacifier sucking, can impact how adult teeth will come in. Genetics also plays a major role in the development of the teeth and jaw.
Babies should visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in and then every six to twelve months after that. Your pediatric dentist will be the first to notice any problems with your child’s bite or teeth alignment and will refer you to an orthodontist.
Starting Orthodontic Work
Most orthodontists recommend that kids visit around the age of 7, when permanent teeth start to come in, although they typically will not receive treatment until ages 9-14. In some cases, the orthodontist may recommend beginning at a younger age if they feel it will help prevent further problems.
How It’s Done
The primary means for straightening teeth and correcting bites is braces, which gradually move teeth and the jaw into the correct position by applying pressure. Typically, most kids wear braces for 1-3 years, but this varies for each case. After the braces are removed, the orthodontist may use retainers to keep the teeth in place and to prevent shifting.
Talk to your dentist right away if you feel your child might be a good candidate for orthodontic work.