We have to level with you here, orthodontic screening is important, especially when it comes to your children. While we know you’re not an orthodontist, you probably understand the importance of early screening already. But did you know why? Orthodontic problems that are left untreated can lead to tooth decay, dental bone loss, and even chewing and digestive disorders. In extreme cases an incorrect bite can contribute to speech problems, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries. Like any health issue, the earlier orthodontic screening is started, the better. Catching a problem early on is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that may develop later on.
THE EARLIER THE EVALUATION THE BETTER.
So we’ll take a stab at your next question: when should a child be evaluated? It’s a good one to ask. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening as early as age 7. By that time, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic problems. When treatment is initiated early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth and, possibly avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions. It can also, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and address abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
Sorry if we’re starting to sound like a broken record. But the takeaway here is clear: the early bird catches the worm.
HERE ARE SOME POTENTIAL WARNING SIGNS OF AN INCORRECT BITE
- Open mouth breathing
- Early or late loss of individual baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting into food
- Crowded, overlapping, poorly positioned, or blocked-out teeth
- Frequently biting the cheeks, lips, or roof of the mouth
- Teeth that do not meet at all
- Jaws and teeth that look out of proportion with the face
- Thumb and finger sucking habits
- Obvious abnormal bite problem of any kind
- Jaws that click or pop