As your child starts to grow, you should be keeping an eye on their teeth. Changes happen every single year throughout their early development, so catching issues early will benefit your child. Your child should be seen by a dentist twice a year and by an orthodontist by the time they hit seven years of age. The doctor can spot subtle problems occurring with the jaw and emerging teeth even though your child likely still has some baby teeth, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
So, why should you keep an eye on your child’s teeth? Here are some important reasons:
- It’s easy to assume that because your child’s teeth are straight, they are OK. That’s not always true. There could be an underlying problem that affects the jaw or alignment. Your child’s dentist and orthodontist have the tools and experience to know what to spot and what it all means.
- Catching an issue early on can prevent it from becoming a bigger problem later on. But even if an issue is found early, it doesn’t mean you must take action right then and there. Sometimes, it’s good just to know about an issue so it can be monitored. Perhaps definitive action doesn’t need to be taken for many months or a year. You always want to treat a problem at an early age rather than wait till the teenage years or adulthood, when the jaw has achieved full growth. In addition, treatment tends to be less complicated and painful when they’re children.
- Early treatment will help your dentist and orthodontist:
- Guide and monitor jaw growth
- Reduce risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Correct and reverse poor oral hygiene habits
- Guide permanent teeth into better position
- Create a more aesthetically-pleasing smile
Once your child is on a regular schedule of visits with the dentist and orthodontist, you’ll know they’re under the best care for monitoring of any issues that may crop up. You will be advised when it’s time for braces or other preparatory devices such as palate expanders.
There are many problems that can occur to your child’s teeth, such as crooked teeth, overbites and underbites. These are all, unfortunately, inherited traits. When misaligned bites don’t get properly treated, more severe problems can happen later down the road. Overbites and underbites are the most common in kids and adults, typically caused by early loss of baby and adult teeth. Other causes include thumb sucking, gum disease and jaw misalignment post-injury.
Orthodontic treatment as well as specialized dental treatment may result from prolonged use of bottles and pacifiers, too. As the parent of a child who uses these, limit how often they use them and encourage them to quit as early as possible.
Contact Redwood Dental
Not sure where to start? Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222. Our dentists have a lot of experience correcting underbites, overbites and other orthodontic issues. We can monitor your children from an early age so they receive the right orthodontic treatment when needed.