As an Orthodontist and dad I’m often asked about the best time to have children evaluated for orthodontic treatment. The challenge (as we all know!) is that every kid is different…my three boys certainly are!. However, a good milestone for checking in is around age seven, when a child’s jaw is developed enough, and he or she has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to tell if there are any current issues… or any that may come up down the line.
We talk a lot about early intervention in orthodontics because there are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child, including shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. That’s because, when we see children early enough, we can minimize crowding to make room for teeth that have yet to come in, help to guide jaw growth and work to correct the results of bad habits, like thumb sucking, before they turn into larger orthodontic issues.
All that said, there are signs that you can look for that will help you to identify when is the right time for a visit to the orthodontist:
- Particularly early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting into food
- Grinding and/or clenching of teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or other finger sucking
- Teeth that look crowded in the mouth
- Jaw shifts or jaw noises like popping
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all
- Jaw and teeth that do not appear to be proportionate to your child’s face
Keep in mind that these signs do not guarantee that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation could be a good idea.
Do some of these signs look familiar to you?
As a father, I know how important it is to choose the right doctor for your child and to feel confident in that decision. That’s why at Jacob Jarvis Orthodontics we offer complimentary new patient exams. Stop in, try us out and see if we’re a good fit for your family! Click below to schedule an appointment at any of our 3 convenient locations: East Boise, Eagle or Meridian.
And, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jacobjarvisorthodontics for more information about our practice and to read patient reviews.