A question that we get all the time at Datwyler Orthodontics is, “What age does my child first need to see an orthodontist?” The answer may surprise you. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist by the age of 7. If you’re thinking, “My kid doesn’t even have all their teeth at age 7!” Let us explain.
By the age of 7, most children have lost their primary (baby) teeth and their permanent adult teeth have begun to emerge. This stage of in-between growth is the ideal time to evaluate a child’s orthodontic situation. An early screening, while the jaw is still growing, can detect and prevent or correct many common orthodontic issues. This sort of early prevention will make any future orthodontic treatment that much easier and cost-effective.
Common Orthodontic Issues in Children
So, what are some of the issues we are looking for when we examine your child? There are some orthodontic issues that are genetically inherited, such as jaw size. An irregular jaw size can contribute to issues such as an overbite, underbite, crowded teeth, or gaps in teeth. Other issues can develop through bad dental hygiene practices, mouth breathing, unusual swallowing, late loss of baby teeth, accidents, or poor nutrition.
When we examine your child, we are looking at much more than how straight their teeth look. We are also looking for a properly aligned jaw and a healthy bite. When a child has bite or jaw issues, they may have pain or difficulty speaking, eating, and drinking. Correcting these issues will give them a much better quality of life, as well as the confidence of a beautiful smile.
What To Expect at Your Child’s First Visit
At Datwyler Orthodontics, we love welcoming new kiddos into the family. We take personal pride in debunking the myth that all doctors are scary. In fact, we go out of our way to make sure that your child is not only comfortable but has fun with us! During your child’s first visit, we will show you around our office and introduce you to the team. From the retro game room for kids to the free coffee bar for adults, we think you’ll both feel right at home!
Dr. Datwyler will meet you and your child and spend a little time getting to know you both. Dr. D. may want to take a closer look by taking a few pictures (x-rays) of your child’s teeth and jaw. He will then give your child a thorough examination and evaluate their orthodontic condition. At that time, he will explain what he discovered in the exam and make any recommendations based on his findings. We know that you may have questions. We will take the time to talk through them and any other concerns you may have.