Your child has probably been seeing a dentist for years, but do they need to see an orthodontist, too? Or should you wait until they’re a teenager? What age is the best age to start seeing an orthodontist?
While we know when you think “braces,” you probably think “teenager,” it’s always better to address problems or potential problems early. Doing so can save you money in the long run and maybe give your surly teen a reason to smile more often.
When Should I Schedule the First Visit?
Some people may be surprised to discover that children should visit an orthodontist long before they become teenagers. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you bring your child to the orthodontist starting at age 7. We know what you’re thinking: “What? That’s way too early!” But it’s not, we promise!
It’s the perfect time because your child’s front permanent teeth should be coming in by then. Those new teeth will give us an idea of how well they will come in. Will they be too big or too crowded? Are they straight or crooked? Did the baby teeth fall out too soon? Even at that early age, we can understand how straight your child’s teeth will be.
Earlier Screenings Can’t Hurt!
Although the recommended age is 7, that doesn’t mean your child can’t see us earlier if problems appear to develop. On the contrary! It’s better to fix those problems now than to have to fix the results of those problems later.
What if your child can’t break a thumb-sucking habit? We can help with techniques or appliances to help your child break that habit before it leads to significant bite issues. Are your child’s teeth coming in crowded or spaced? We can plan for treatment now and later, minimizing your child’s time in braces or clear aligners.
The sooner we take a look and fix the problems, the easier it will be on your child and — let’s be honest — your wallet.
What Should We Expect During the First Visit?
We know the idea of visiting an orthodontist can be intimidating. For some kids, it can be downright scary. But we promise, we don’t bite — we fix bites instead!
So what can you expect when you walk into Kanning Orthodontics for the first time? You’ll first get a friendly greeting from a fun, energetic, enthusiastic team. We will make you feel at home as soon as you enter.
Once you meet us and check out our office, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty. We’ll take x-rays and 3D digital impressions of your child’s teeth and jaws. Our doctors perform a complete examination, and we’ll share the results of everything with you. We’ll let you know if your child is good to go for now, if they may need braces later, or if we should start a two-phase treatment right away.
When Should My Child Get Braces?
It’s possible your child won’t need braces at all. They may need braces once more of their permanent teeth have erupted. It’s also possible your child will need orthodontic care right away.
Once we figure out the best course of treatment, we can guide you on how best to get started. In some cases, when dental issues are already causing problems, you’ll want to consider two-phase treatment.
Phase I will start immediately to address issues they may have right now. Breaking a thumb-sucking habit is one example. Maybe your child is having trouble chewing or biting correctly. Perhaps the permanent teeth have already come in crowded or spaced too far apart. Whatever the case, we can provide solutions to help your child now.
Phase II comes later, once most or all of the permanent teeth are in place. By then, we’ll know how crowded the teeth are or will be, and we can make adjustments, so your child has a beautiful set of straight teeth and a proper bite.
Here’s How to Get Started!
The earlier we get started, the better off your child. We can avoid issues later that can cause jaw pain, headaches, snoring, or other problems. The first step is to schedule a free consultation! Yes, we said free!
From there, we will guide you through treatment options for your child. We will give you all the information you need to reach the best decision for your child’s oral health.
If you’re in the Kansas City, MO, or Liberty, MO, areas, give us a call! Let’s get started early and keep those new teeth healthy and straight!