Every parent is made aware of what doctors call “developmental milestones” for their children. There’s a certain age when they’re supposed to be able to roll over, walk, talk, etc. These help parents know that their child is healthy and growing properly. BMI, or Body-Mass-Index, is one that is used to determine whether a child is underweight, overweight, or at risk for becoming overweight. What most people don’t know, however, is that a child’s BMI is also important to their children’s orthodontist in Powell. How is your child’s weight connected to their teeth? Read on to find out!
What You Need to Know About BMI
BMI is a value that is derived by taking someone’s weight and dividing it by their height. Depending on a child’s age and how they compare to their peers, it can serve as a rough indicator for how they are developing. If a child is underweight, for example, it’s likely that they are physically developing a bit slower than their peers. In addition to their overall size, a low BMI can also indicate that a child’s teeth and jaws are growing a bit slowly as well, and this is information an orthodontist needs to know.
Why Orthodontists Care About BMI
When an orthodontist looks at a child’s BMI, they aren’t really concerned if they are overweight or not. What sticks out to them is an underweight child. If a child is behind on their overall growth, this could mean that their oral development is a bit behind as well. As a result, a child’s teeth may come in later than normal, which means they’ll lose them late as well. An orthodontist can use this information to determine when a child should ideally start orthodontic treatment, how long that treatment should last, and what kind of treatment they will need in the first place.
While most people think of orthodontics as being solely focused on straightening the teeth, it’s also concerned with the alignment of the bite. If the upper or lower jaw is growing at a different rate than the other, this can lead to issues like an overbite or under bite. But, using the right approach, an orthodontist can make sure your child’s teeth come together correctly so they can chew their food effectively.
A Word to Parents
If your child is growing a little slower than their peers, know that their orthodontist will take this into consideration when you go to see them. This may mean that the doctor chooses to start treatment a little later than usual, or they may recommend an appliance to help with your child’s bite. In any case, as long as your child has good overall health, this shouldn’t be cause for concern. Every child is different, and the right orthodontist will take the time to tailor their treatments to each unique patient.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a certified orthodontist and provider of children’s braces in Powell. He believes that parents should understand every facet of their child’s care so they can always begin treatment with peace of mind. To learn more about how BMI and orthodontics are related, and what this could mean for your child, he invites you to contact him through his website.