At What Age Should my Child See an Orthodontist?

Just like having a family dentist that looks after your family’s teeth, an orthodontist is an important aspect of our lives to ensure there are no problems with the alignment of our teeth and bite. Orthodontic issues, or malocclusions, can create long-term health issues as they make it more difficult to properly remove the build-up of plaque and tartar from our teeth. If left untreated, cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and a host of other oral health problems may arise which puts the state of our health at risk. Not only do orthodontic issues jeopardise our physical health, but they also have a significant impact on our self-esteem and confidence.

 

Up until recently, getting braces was seen to be a rite of passage for teenagers, however most orthodontic issues can be treated much earlier to reduce this burden. Treatment is not only easier to manage but works out to be considerably cheaper than waiting until your child reaches teenage years. One of the most common questions that orthodontists get asked is at what age their child should see an orthodontist. The Australian Society of Orthodontics recommends that all children should have an early treatment consultation with an orthodontist between the ages of 8 and 10.

 

Of course, not all orthodontic problems can be treated as this age but most problems can be identified which allows your orthodontist to create a plan to minimise any issues your child will experience in future years. Today’s article will explore some of the benefits that you’ll receive by scheduling your child for an early treatment consultation with your orthodontist.

 

Why is 8to 10 the optimal age for an initial consultation?

At this age, most children’s first adult molars have erupted to establish their back bite. At this point, your orthodontist can assess your child’s mouth by examining the side-to-side and front-to-back tooth relationships. Along with this, permanent incisors that have erupted provide your orthodontist with a clear understanding of whether your child may develop issues such as an overbite, open bite, under bite, and crowding. Addressing these orthodontic issues at a young age can significantly reduce any orthodontic treatment in teenage years.

 

Some examples of early treatment that can be used to minimise major orthodontic issues in later years include:

 

  • Preserving space for adult teeth to erupt
  • Making room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Minimising the likelihood of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Influencing jaw growth to ensure facial symmetry and harmony
  • Reducing the need for tooth extraction
  • Reducing treatment times with braces in teenage years

 

What if my child has straight teeth?

Just because your child has straight teeth now doesn’t mean they’ll stay straight forever. Other issues can arise which can affect your child’s teeth and jaw including the tooth crowding, issues with permanent teeth eruption, the relationship between the lower and upper jaw, and other problems such as teeth grinding, speech impediments, and thumb sucking. This is why the Australian Society of Orthodontists recommend children between the ages of 8 to 10 consult an orthodontist because all these issues can be identified and a plan can be created to minimise the effects of these issues during your child’s development.

 

Summary

Early treatment consultations are the best way to give your child the opportunity to minimise the need for orthodontic treatment in teenage years. By identifying any potential issues with your child’s teeth and bite, your orthodontist can ensure that results are faster, better, and your child has a few extra years of having a confident smile when self-image is very important. At the very least, you’ll have the peace of mind that your child has healthy teeth and won’t have any orthodontic issues in the future!

 

Gold Coast Orthodontics is a leading orthodontic clinic located at Robina that specialise in early detection and offer the latest in orthodontic treatments. If you’re interested in scheduling an early treatment consultation for your child, simply phone our friendly staff on 07 5689 1224.

 

 

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