The age at which children should start undergoing orthodontic treatment depends on your child’s bite and issues with alignment and tooth and jaw growth. At around seven years old, your child will have grown their six-year molars and some or all of their permanent front teeth. Since the six-year molars set the bite and the front teeth determine spacing, this is a good time to tell if there are any current issues - or any on the horizon.
Benefits to getting early orthodontic treatment as a child include fewer impacted permanent teeth, reduced chance of needing to remove teeth and better long-term stability because we:
● Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking
● Guide teeth into desired positions early
● Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
● Guide jaw growth
Some severe bite issues can only be treated early and jaw surgery can be avoided.
Are there any signs I should look for?
Yes, definitely! Here are some of the signs to keep in mind:
● No space between the baby teeth
● Early or late loss of baby teeth
● Permanent teeth that are not growing in for a long time after the baby tooth has come out
● Oral habits like thumb or other finger sucking habit
● Crowding, misplacement, or blocking of teeth
● Protruding teeth
● Teeth meet abnormally or do not meet at all
● Jaw and teeth do not appear to be proportionate to the face
● Difficulty chewing or biting into food
Keep in mind that these signs do not guarantee that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation may be a good idea.
Do some of these signs look familiar to you?
Have no fear, your child will be in good hands! Dr. Iris Erdell and her team are experts in children’s orthodontics. Dr. Erdell is also no stranger to the latest technology so you can be sure your child’s treatment is as comfortable and efficient as possible.
Think your child may need an orthodontic evaluation?
Give us a call and make an appointment for a consultation. We can be reached at (925) 946-1951. At Iris Erdell orthodontics, early treatment can help give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for more self-esteem as they go through their teenage years and through adulthood.