What Is the Best Age for My Kid’s Orthodontic Evaluation?
You might have noticed more young children seem to be wearing braces these days, whereas it used to be only older children and teenagers who were straightening their teeth. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. But why is it worth taking your child for orthodontic evaluation at the Kids Dentistry Center when they are still so young, and at a stage when they still have their milk or primary teeth?
Orthodontic Problems Can Often Be Detected Surprisingly Early
You might be surprised at exactly how many orthodontic problems can be detected at this early stage. When you come to visit Dr. Marina Krepkh or any of our dentists at the Kids Dentistry Center then we will be looking out for certain things during this initial visit.
Milk Teeth Are Lost in a Particular Order
A child’s milk teeth tend to be lost in a particular order and if there are any significant deviations from this pattern then it could indicate a problem. Between the ages of six and eight, a child will normally lose their first eight primary teeth, which ideally will be almost immediately replaced by eight adult incisors. Around the age of six a child will generally get their first four molars and you may hear these teeth called the six year molars.
By age seven children will normally have at least four of their permanent molars and four of their permanent incisors. If they have more or less teeth than this then it might cause issues with overcrowding or spacing. It could be that after orthodontic evaluation our dentists will decide it is best to remove a primary tooth early to create more room. Or a child might need a space maintainer to hold open a space where a primary tooth has been lost too soon.
Early Intervention May Help Treat Alignment or Spacing Issues or Protrusive Front Teeth
Early intervention can be useful in treating problems with incorrectly aligned teeth. Even though these teeth can be re-aligned at a later stage, early orthodontic treatment will help prevent wear and tear or may mean there is less risk of trauma. This can be particularly relevant if the front teeth stick out too much and are more likely to suffer a knock during an accident.
Early Orthodontic Evaluation Helps Minimize Intrusion
Early treatment might not necessarily mean a child will not require any treatment later on, but it may make treatment easier and faster and less intrusive. The whole aim of orthodontics is to help a child develop a nice facial profile where their teeth and jaws function correctly. This in turn helps protect their jaw joints from any undue pressures or stresses. If your child is already a regular patient at the Kids Dentistry Center, then our friendly and caring pediatric dentists will keep a close eye on the way their teeth and jaws are developing. We will recommend an orthodontic evaluation if we think it would be beneficial. If you think your child might benefit from a more thorough examination, contact our dental team for more information and to book an appointment.