Although many people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescence, however, orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or with the teeth much earlier, while the primary or “baby” teeth are present.
Parents may incorrectly assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth. However, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child get check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7.
By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for Dr. Huynh to evaluate relationships developing between teeth, jaw and bite. Dr. Huynh can determine what, if anything is awry. An early visit to our orthodontic office can ease a parent’s mind, too. Our recommendation may simply be ‘let’s wait and see’ while the face and jaws continue to grow.
Some of the more readily apparent problems that indicate the need for an examination include
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb sucking
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Speech difficulties
- Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Attentive early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Careful intervention guides growth and development, preventing or minimizing serious problems in the future. However, if problems are present, beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile!