Why Orthodontics is Important for Growing Children
The field of orthodontics is primarily concerned with the alignment of teeth and jaws and it involves corrective practices to correct facial irregularities. While this
What is the Right Age for a Child to See an Orthodontist?
Ideally, every child should visit an orthodontist by the time they reach the age of seven years, as this is the time when their milk teeth fall out and are replaced by the permanent set that are with them for life. In the event the teeth or jaws are misaligned, corrective treatment is essential and the sooner this happens, the better. There are qualified orthodontists in Melbourne and surrounding areas who can examine your child’s teeth to ensure there are no issues, and should the specialist feel that corrective treatment is needed, he or she will make a recommendation.
By visiting an orthodontist at the right age, any alignment issues can be quickly remedied and as the teeth develop and grow, this realignment will prevent more serious problems from occurring in the future. The specialist will check the jaw growth and bite alignment, which, if not addressed at an early age, can cause more serious problems when the child enters their teenage years.
Crossbite and Underbite
If your child has either of these issues, it will likely affect the way the teeth grow, as it puts excessive pressure on both the upper and lower jaw and with corrective treatment being much more effective at an early age, future problems can be avoided. Often the parents are completely unaware of a child’s bite deformity and if the incorrect bite issue is not addressed, the teeth will not grow as they should and once the child reaches puberty, corrective treatment is much more difficult to implement.
Some young children develop bad oral habits, such as thumb sucking, which is a known cause of protruding front teeth and by addressing this at an early age, it is possible to avoid problems in the future. Correct brushing and flossing techniques are important and the sooner a child learns how to properly brush and floss, the less chance of problems at a later stage of life. Improper swallowing can also cause oral problems and the orthodontist would know the signs to look for and can recommend corrective practices before any permanent damage is caused.
If your child is approaching the age of seven and has yet to see an orthodontist, now is the ideal time to make an initial appointment and let the expert take a look at how the child’s teeth and jaw alignment is forming. In many cases, early treatment results in normal growth and with regular visits, any issues can quickly be remedied.