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6 Signs Your Child May Need Early Orthodontic Treatment

As a parent, it is a good idea to start thinking about orthodontics early on in your child’s life. While braces are often best during later childhood and early adolescence, your child can benefit from having an early evaluation around age seven. This is because children have an established bite and adult molars by this age, but have not had the rest of their adult teeth grow in.

It is also at this age that it is most practical to conduct the first phase of two-phase orthodontic treatment if necessary. This involves using techniques that help guide the growth of the jaw, allowing all the adult teeth to have enough space to grow in.

Early orthodontics is not for every child, but getting early treatment when it is necessary will avoid further expensive and complex treatments later on, such as getting teeth pulled or other orthodontic procedures. Here are six signs your child may be a good candidate for early orthodontics .

Genetics

One of the first things to consider is your own dental history. After all, your child will inherit your genetic traits, and any dental complications you experienced could possibly be experienced by your child as well.

Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth

You should expect your child to start losing baby teeth around the age of five. If this happens significantly earlier or later, it could be a sign that abnormalities in the jaw are causing the adult teeth to not come in properly.

Speech Impediments

There are different things that can cause a speech impediment, one of which is a misshapen jaw. If your child undergoes early orthodontics you could see their speech impediment disappear.

Thumb Sucking

It is fairly normal for young children to suck their thumbs as a way to self-soothe. However, if this habit continues after the age of five, it can disrupt the normal growth patterns of your child’s teeth and cause complications.

Shifting Jaw

If you notice your child shifting their jaw when they open and close their mouth, it could be a sign your child has a crossbite due to a misaligned jaw. In this case, having your child undergo an early orthodontic treatment can help the jaws align properly.

Jaw Injury

If your child experiences an impact to the face or an injury of any kind, it could alter the growth of their jaw. Facial bones are still developing at an early age and are far more malleable than they will be in adult life. The impact itself could be enough to steer the development of the facial bones off course, but the swelling that can occur over a period of time may also result in the jaw developing improperly.

While these are signs early orthodontics could be right for your child, it is always a good idea to bring your child in to see the orthodontist around age seven even if you don’t see any red flags yourself. Early orthodontics can help guide your child’s development to avoid more complex procedures in the future. Make an appointment at Warren Orthodontics to have your child evaluated and set them on a course for success.