You’ve been taking your child to the dentist since the first sign of his or her first tooth. You may be wondering when the appropriate time is to schedule an orthodontic evaluation. Dr. David Markham, our children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, provides treatment for patients of all ages. Today, we will explore the importance of early diagnosis and discuss when you should bring your child to the orthodontist.
Age Seven is the Magic Number
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests bringing your child in for an orthodontic visit around the age of seven. But why is this? Around this age, enough adult teeth have grown in to identify potential problems. In some cases, early intervention may be recommended to prevent more invasive treatments from becoming necessary in the future. Any detectable issues are typically much easier to address when your child is still in his or her developmental stage.
Every child should visit the orthodontist by age seven. However, it is important to bring your child in if you notice that he or she:
- Has lost baby teeth earlier than expected
- Participates in thumb-sucking
- Has difficulty eating
- Has crowded teeth
- Experiences clicking or popping when opening or closing the mouth
- Has a jaw that is too far forward or too far back
What Will be Evaluated at the Appointment?
During the screening with our children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, we will assess the baby teeth in addition to the permanent teeth. This will help us determine where the remaining adult teeth will erupt. We will also take x-rays and scans to evaluate the underlying jawbone and the jaw joints. All of these elements work together to provide optimal oral health.
Will Early Treatment be Necessary for My Child?
Many children will not require early orthodontic treatment. In fact, most of the young patients we see only need occasional monitoring until they are at least 11 or 12 years old. So why bother bringing your child in at such a young age? Because the few children who do require treatment have a crucial window of time to undergo appropriate intervention. The only way to know for sure if your child requires early treatment is to bring him or her in for a consultation with Dr. Markham. If he notes any growth or development issues, such as skeletal problems, it is best to correct these at a young age. If your child does require early treatment, a number of different appliances may be recommended, including braces, palatal expanders, headgear, and more. Generally, once early treatment is complete, we will monitor your child’s progress and begin the second phase of orthodontics when he or she is an adolescent.
Benefits of an Early Orthodontic Evaluation
There are a few significant advantages to bringing your child in for an orthodontic screening. If your child ends up needing early intervention, following through with Dr. Markham’s recommendation can save you a tremendous amount of worry, time, and money later on. For example, those who undergo early orthodontic treatment:
- Rarely require braces during phase one
- Experience fast treatment, usually one year or less
- Can avoid extensive, complex treatment in the future
Contact Our Children’s Orthodontist in Sacramento, CA
If you are searching for a children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, we sincerely hope you will consider scheduling a visit at Markham Orthodontics. We understand that choosing an orthodontist for your child can be an overwhelming task. We are here to help you through every step of your journey. Feel free to contact us online or call our office at (916) 924-8970.