Every parent wants their child to grow up to have perfectly straight and healthy teeth. Of course, there are a lot of things that can prevent this from happening, including factors like extra teeth, large teeth, spaces, or an underdeveloped jaw. If you start to notice some crookedness or crowding in your child’s smile, you don’t have to just hope nature fixes the problem. There are a few proven things you can do, and we’re going to share 4 of the most effective ones in today’s blog.
Keep Up with Regular Dental Visits
Ideally, beginning around the age of two, your child should be visiting a dentist for a checkup at least once every six months. This gives them a chance to make sure that your little one’s teeth are developing properly, plus, if they spot any issues, they can take steps to address them before they become worse. Of course, if you start seeing misalignments between checkups, you’re always welcome to schedule an appointment. Then, your dentist can answer any questions, address your concerns directly, and put together a treatment plan if necessary.
Watch Out for Bad Habits
When babies use pacifiers or suck their thumb, it’s adorable. These are extremely common behaviors and very healthy for infants, as they give them the ability to self-soothe. However, once their teeth start coming in, these benign actions can be harmful, placing pressure on the teeth that causes them to come in crooked, and they can even hamper the growth of the jaw. While some children stop on their own, if your child is still doing either of these around the age of three or four, it’s time to help them break the habit…their future smile will thank you!
Some parents freak out the moment they notice that anything might be “off” about their child’s teeth, while others like to take a “wait and see” approach. If you notice that any of your child’s teeth overlap, there are obvious spaces, or they are having difficulty eating or speaking because of how their teeth are positioned, you should definitely take them to a dentist soon, as these types of issues rarely resolve themselves on their own and will likely become more pronounced over time.
Visit an Orthodontist if Needed
Every child should undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age seven, but if your child’s dentist recommends that they visit an orthodontist before this age, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. Early-age orthodontic care can be used to address minor problems right away so they don’t turn into big headaches down the road, ensuring your child enjoys an attractive and functional smile as they grow.
You’re Not Alone
As a parent, you have a million things on your mind at one time, and if the alignment of your child’s teeth is one of them, then know that professional help is never too far away. By taking your child in for regular checkups and making appointments with an orthodontist as needed, you can ensure that their teeth are staying on the right track, giving you one less thing to worry about.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified orthodontist and proud father of three boys. He has successfully treated countless children over the years, and he knows how to help younger patients stay comfortable while giving them beautiful smiles they’ll enjoy for a lifetime. Worried about your child’s teeth? Our team can help take the stress away, and to schedule a FREE in-person consultation at Shirck Orthodontics, click here.