Young boy smiling sitting outdoors at a family gathering.

4 Signs That Your Child Needs To See an Orthodontist

Posted on September 1, 2020

Young boy smiling sitting outdoors at a family gathering.

By taking your child regularly for dental check-ups every 6 months, your dentist will be able to notice whether your child will need orthodontic treatment. They may refer you to an orthodontist for an evaluation. The American Association of Orthodontist recommends children be seen by an orthodontist for an evaluation by age 7. This does not mean that your child will necessarily need treatment at this age. But the sooner your child’s orthodontic problems are detected, the better. By detecting orthodontic problems early, any necessary treatment may be easier and less invasive on your child. With that being said, it’s best if you work in tandem with their dentist and take note of any changes that you notice. If you notice any particular signs that indicate that orthodontic care is necessary, you should bring it up to your dentist — or for that matter, schedule an appointment with the orthodontist on your own.

But what are some signs your child might need orthodontic services? Read on for four telltale signs that an orthodontic appointment should be made.

1. Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking or finger sucking isn’t necessarily an immediate sign that your child is going to need braces or need another type of orthodontic treatment. However, this issue could cause problems while the mouth is forming and thus make your child more likely to need braces down the road. Ideally, you should try to prevent your child from latching on to this habit from a young age. But if you didn’t in the past, it’s okay. You just might need to keep this memory in mind while evaluating whether or not your child might need orthodontic care.

2. Overcrowded Or Overlapping Teeth

This is an obvious problem, so most of the time, your dentist is going to catch it before you even notice. But as there is usually a six-month gap between dental appointments, it’s always possible that your child’s overlapping teeth could begin presenting before they have their next appointment with a dentist. With that being said, as soon as a tooth begins to overlap, you should go ahead and ask your dentist for an orthodontic referral so that your child can receive care as soon as possible. It could make straightening the teeth faster and easier.

3. Early Loss Of Baby Teeth

One of the earliest signs that your child may be in need of orthodontic services is the early loss of baby teeth. It’s extremely important that a child receives attention from a dentist if they start losing their teeth at an extremely young age or in any otherwise irregular way. This could be a sign that the teeth are overly crowded and are already on the verge of overlapping or beginning other undesirable habits.

4. A Noticeable Overbite

A noticeable overbite is uncomfortable for a lot of children, simply due to the fact that it can draw attention to the face and cause a child to be teased by their peers. But there can be other issues that arise from a noticeable overbite and these are usually only treated through orthodontic services. Perhaps most noticeably, an overbite can be indicative of misaligned jaws. The last thing anyone wants, of course, is the oral surgery that can be required to treat such problems that could have been corrected with traditional orthodontic treatment if treated early enough.

Clearly, there are a lot of problems that can cause people to need orthodontic services in the long term. The good thing is that a lot of these issues can be effectively treated by early care. Just keep an eye on your child’s dental development and they’ll be just fine — as long as you’re proactive about contacting an orthodontist.

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