Orthodontics for Children: 3 Important Facts Parents Should Know
Orthodontics is the field of dentistry involving the diagnosis, care and preclusion of badly positioned or misaligned bite patterns, teeth and jaws and facial development issues. Specialists in the area are most commonly known for working with braces, dental implants and dentures. If you have children with uneven teeth, then you may have considered consulting an orthodontist to see if they need braces or some other form of corrective treatment. As you embark on your search for the “best orthodontist near me,” there are some important facts you should keep in mind.
1. It Is Recommended That Youths See an Orthodontist by Age Seven
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests taking your children to visit an orthodontist for a preliminary assessment by the time they reach seven years of age. By doing so, you can deal with any existing or potential tooth or jaw issues before they worsen. This does not mean that it is too late to seek treatment if your kids are older than seven. Many youths do not receive orthodontic care until they are older. You may also hear other advice such as “wait until their baby teeth all fall out” or “wait until all of their permanent teeth grow in.” Children may see an orthodontist before the former and the latter occurs. Even if the professional does not think they are ready for braces, they may recommend other courses of action or start planning. Waiting too long may actually aggravate serious problems.
2. Teeth Don’t Naturally Straighten by Themselves
There is a fallacy that as children grow, their mouths will likewise expand, creating more space. In reality, as permanent teeth begin to come in, there is less room available. The teeth will not simply grow straight as the youths age.
3. Braces Address Other Issues Besides Crooked Smiles
The treatment is most commonly used to align teeth. However, it is capable of far more than simply making smiles prettier. Braces are also used to treat problems like overbite, underbite, crossbite, overcrowding and more. These issues can result in serious consequences for your children, including difficulty speaking, trouble chewing and eating, pain, bone erosion, gum disease, tooth decay and increased wear and tear on teeth. It is therefore important to correct them as soon as possible. Braces have also been shown to significantly boost self-esteem.
It is imperative to take your children to an orthodontist early to check for signs of dental complications. The earlier they receive treatment, the easier it will be to fix anything wrong and prevent further issues from popping up.
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