A lot happens to your teeth during your first decade of life. Your baby teeth come in, stay for a while, and later fall out. Your permanent teeth start to push their way into place. You learn proper oral care by brushing, flossing, and making regular visits to the dentist. It’s an important time of transition that will affect the way your smile will look in years to come.
But it is easy to forget that another important milestone needs to happen during a child’s first decade. It’s that first visit to the orthodontist. By taking your child to visit with an orthodontist at an early age, any issues with your child’s future smile can be identified before they occur.
The Best Age for That First Visit
So when is the best time to take your child in for an orthodontic evaluation? According to the American Association of Orthodontics the best time for your child’s first orthodontic evaluation is at age 7. So about the time those baby teeth get loose and the tooth fairy makes an appearance you should start thinking about making that appointment.
This is a time of important transition for your child’s smile. As those permanent teeth get ready to come in, it is critical to come up with a game plan with your orthodontist for creating a wide, straight smile. Coming up with a plan early often leads to simpler treatment options down the road. It is easier to prevent oral problems ahead of time than it is to fix them later.
Be on the Lookout for Bad Habits
Keep in mind that bad habits and awkward tooth growth can alter your child’s smile over time. So if you notice any of the following behaviors or symptoms you should definitely see your orthodontist right away:
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Preference for breathing through the mouth
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Thumb sucking
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Upper and lower teeth don’t meet
- Teeth grinding
- Late loss of baby teeth
Put Together a Plan
The good news is that scheduling an early orthodontic appointment can help with your child’s facial appearance and self-confidence. Here are some of the issues that can be corrected or prevented with a good orthodontic treatment plan:
- Uneven lips
- Shallow smile
- Poor jaw growth
- Narrow smile
- Sunken jaw
- Cooked bite
- Speech issues
- Flat concave lips
Visiting with the right orthodontist early will help you chart a course for creating that wide, beautiful smile you know your child is going to want when he or she gets older. So be sure to get a head-start on any orthodontic treatment your child may need later on by bring your child in for a visit at age 7. At Molen Orthodontics consultations are always free, so make your appointment early and help your child get ready for the best smile possible.