There are a lot of exciting things going on this February, but one that you may not be aware of is that it’s actually National Children’s Dental Health Month! Every year at this time, dental professionals around the country try to raise awareness about the importance of a child’s oral health. So in honor of the occasion, your children’s orthodontist in Westerville is going to answer some of the most common child-related questions that parents ask us every day.
When should I bring my child to see an orthodontist?
Our own Dr. Jeff and Dr. Jen recommend that every child should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of eight. Typically at this age, children will have a mix of both baby teeth and adult teeth, and this evaluation will allow their orthodontist to catch any problems they might have as well as spot the signs of ones that could develop later. That way, they can design a treatment plan to correct these issues and minimize future ones.
Are there any reasons a child should see an orthodontist before age eight?
Yes, you should consider scheduling an appointment if you notice any of the following issues:
- Teeth misalignments due to habits like thumb/finger sucking
- Misalignments due to the overuse of a bottle
- Crowded, gapped, or impacted (partially erupted) teeth
- Overbite, under bite, or cross bite
- If the jaw and teeth are not in proportion to the face
- Baby teeth being lost earlier or later than normal
- If your child has difficulty breathing, speaking, or eating because of their teeth or jaw
How can Shirck Orthodontics help my child?
When treating a young child, most of the time we’ll take a two-phase approach. During the first phase, your child’s orthodontist will correct any alignment problems with the baby teeth, make sure their jaw is developing properly, and ensure that the adult teeth have a clear path to come in. Once this phase is completed, it will be followed by a rest period while your child’s adult teeth naturally erupt.
At this point, we’ll begin phase two in which any issues with the adult teeth are corrected. This often involves the use of braces. After your child’s braces have come off, they’ll be asked to wear a retainer to keep their new smile looking and feeling great.
This two-phase approach often helps cut down on a child’s overall treatment time because problems with the adult teeth can be lessened or completely avoided thanks to phase one.
Do I really need to worry about straightening my child’s baby teeth?
Yes! Many parents believe the alignment of the baby teeth doesn’t really matter because, well, they are going to fall out anyway, right? In reality, the baby teeth are extremely important to guiding your child’s jaw development, and they also have a direct impact on how straight (or not) their adult teeth come in. Taking care of the baby teeth early will make any orthodontic problems your child may have later much easier to deal with.
Have Any More Questions?
We hope this answered most of your child-related questions! If you still have more, we would love to hear them, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call and ask. Or, even better, you can schedule a FREE consultation for you and your child so we can tell you everything you need to know in person!
At Shirck Orthodontics, you can trust that we’ll have everything your child needs to achieve and maintain a strong, healthy, and beautiful smile for a lifetime. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.