Many parents wonder if their child needs to see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should be assessed for orthodontics by age seven, but what are the criteria for this assessment? Overbites and crooked teeth can make it easier to decide if braces are necessary, but there are some other reasons to see a pediatric orthodontist that may surprise you.
Early childhood is a critical time in speech development, and your child's teeth play an important role in this process. Speech problems such as lisps and whistling are often caused by problems with teeth alignment. Early dental intervention can help your child to overcome these problems before they become difficult to correct.
Thumb or finger sucking can be a comforting thing for a baby, but beyond age 2, it can be detrimental to your child's smile and self-esteem. If necessary, a pediatric orthodontist can prescribe an appliance that can help your child break this habit before it causes permanent damage.
Not Losing Baby Teeth
Many children are excited when they first begin losing their baby teeth, but if this does not happen when it is supposed to, the permanent teeth can be effected. If the baby teeth do not fall out, the permanent teeth may try to grow around them, causing orthodontic problems later on. If your child's baby teeth do not begin falling out by age six or get loose, but never actually fall out, your child's dentist may recommend that they see an orthodontist.
Difficulty breathing in children is usually related to enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Constant pressure from this swelling can cause your child's teeth to become crooked or crowded over time. Proper dental care can help your child to better manage these problems.
Frequent sores in the mouth can indicate that the teeth are not aligned properly, causing them to rub against the inside of the mouth. It can also be a sign that your child is having a hard time chewing food. An orthodontist at places like Pedodontics P.C. can help you evaluate whether your child needs to have braces in order to correct these problems.
Early dental care is important in order to ensure that your child's smile is beautiful for many years to come and a pediatric orthodontist can help you to form a treatment plan that can prevent problems before they begin. If your child is experiencing any of these problems, it may be time for an orthodontic assessment.