Starting proper oral hygiene at a young age can greatly decrease the risk of dental infection early on.As a pediatric dentist, we specialize in treating children and infants in need of dental care. By scheduling a dental checkup when the child's first baby tooth emerges, you are investing in their lifelong oral health. While there…
Ask a Pediatric Dentist – Early Childhood First Orthodontic Exam
The right time to bring your kid to a pediatric dentist for their first orthodontic exam is during the early childhood years. The first permanent molars generally erupt by the age of six. Braces or other orthodontic services may not be needed at this point. But a vigilant inspection will allow the dentist to decide on the right time to start treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child should see a dental professional no older than seven years old.
What to expect during the appointment with the pediatric dentist
The pediatric dentist will check the position of the child’s teeth and determine if there are any malocclusions. A malocclusion refers to the misalignment or imperfect positioning of the teeth as the jaws close. The child will be asked to bite down so that the dentist can examine how the top and bottom teeth approach each other. Malocclusion may cause a child to become prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw joint problems. Irregular bites may also lead to teeth grinding, mouth breathing, and problems with eating and speaking.
Imaging tests may also be administered to see which permanent teeth have yet to erupt. X-rays can accurately diagnose orthodontic issues that could otherwise only be guessed. It will show if there are any internal problems with the child’s teeth or jaw structure. A panoramic X-ray may be recommended at the child’s first orthodontic exam. When appropriate, the pediatric dentist may postpone this special type of X-ray until it is closer to the time when treatment is advised to start.
Benefits of seeing a pediatric dentist
The pediatric dentist can determine whether treatment is necessary. If so, the dentist will discuss with the parent and child what form the treatment will take and for how long. The pediatric dentist might decide that intervention is not required right away. In that case, the child’s growth and oral health development will be carefully monitored. This will help them determine when the right time is to start the child’s treatment.
With early orthodontic intervention, the dentist can preserve space for the child’s teeth that still have not come out yet. For crowded teeth, ample room for erupting ones can be created. The dentist can guide jaw growth to improve the child’s facial symmetry. This will also reduce the need for tooth extraction. The dentist can also find ways to lower the risk of trauma to protruding teeth.
Safeguard your child’s smile today
A child’s first orthodontic exam can help reveal any ongoing issues. With early diagnosis and intervention, there is a higher chance for successful treatment. Since the kid’s face and jaw are still developing, timing is everything. Orthodontic treatments address issues in the child’s mouth. This allows them to speak, bite, and eat normally. Solving issues now will help the child have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile in adulthood.
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