You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. And it may help you avoid more costly or more invasive treatments down the road.
Palatal expander – Your child may be a good candidate for palatal expansion, which can make the upper jaw wider and help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Ideally, a palatal expander is used when a patient is still growing. Expansion occurs when the growth plate or suture in the middle of the palate is stretched and the two halves are pushed apart. As the two halves are spread, new bone is added.
In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. Cases not corrected in growing patients may require surgery for correction in adulthood and may lead to abnormal wear or bite problems if not corrected at all.
Early interceptive treatment–Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early on to prevent larger problems later. An example of interceptive treatment is correcting an anterior crossbite.
Tooth removal – Sometimes removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth emerge better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position even without an orthodontic appliance. Your orthodontist will suggest the best time for extractions to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Getting them into the orthodontist early allows you to receive the optimum treatment for them.
Not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment
One of three things could result from your child’s first appointment with the orthodontist. 1) There may be no need for treatment recognized at that time. 2) Treatment may be necessary in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to develop. Or, 3) A problem already exists that would benefit by early treatment, and you are in the right spot to get started!
Most orthodontists offer free consultations, so there’s no reason to wait.
Trust an AAO orthodontist
You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.
Jennifer L. Martin, DDS Specializes in Orthodontics for Your Child
Orthodontic treatment is a very important part of your child’s oral health care. When jaws and teeth line up correctly, they are able to function as nature intended. This promotes oral health and general physical health. That orthodontic treatment also helps create an aesthetically beautiful smile for life. A solid resource for parents common questions is the AAO Parents Guide to Orthodontics for Children We also have a helpful resource on our website to help prepare everyone for Your Childs First Orthodontic Appointment
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Help Children?
Orthodontic treatment will help your child bite and chew and contribute to clear speech. When their teeth function properly the achieve a strong, balanced appearance. An attractive smile is a result of orthodontic treatment, and can do wonders for confidence. Self-confidence and self-esteem may improve as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips and face into proportion. Straight teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease and injury.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Some are “acquired,” developing over time by sucking the thumb or fingers, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, or early or late loss of baby teeth, accidents and poor nutrition. Sometimes an inherited orthodontic problem is complicated by an acquired problem. Whatever the cause, orthodontists are usually able to treat most conditions successfully.
All Kids Should Get A Checkup with an Orthodontist No Later than Age Seven
To have a healthy smile that's good for life®, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child get a checkup with an orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age seven. By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing. Putting off a checkup with an orthodontist until a child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they're found early. A checkup no later than age seven gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
If you have any questions or concerns throughout your treatment or in the future, please consult your orthodontist or visit mylifemysmile.org.
Creating Generations of Smiles Through A Legacy of Personal Care and Heartfelt Service!
Dr. Jennifer L. Martin and our team love transforming lives, one smile at a time. We work one-to-one with each patient to determine their clinical needs and care goals, and then develop individual treatment paths to create their healthy new smile. We appreciate parents who understand the importance of getting their children a proper start towards a lifetime or oral & orthodontic health.
We offer complimentary consultations for you and your family at our Pleasant Hill, CA orthodontic office, serving Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek and Lafayette. Please call to learn more and schedule your consultation, today.
Dr. Martin and everyone at Jennifer L. Martin, DDS, look forward to welcoming you to our practice. We would love to develop a long-term relationship with you, while making the beautiful smile of your dreams a reality!
Jennifer L. Martin, D.D.S.
401 Gregory Lane, Suite 126
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Phone: (925) 676-8485