The team at Beaumont Orthodontics welcomes patients of any age—from child to adult—who want to straighten then smile. But, while it’s never the wrong time to consider the benefits of orthodontics treatment, there are certainly advantages to beginning your orthodontic journey early on. Accordingly, our orthodontists highly recommend that every child make an appointment with our Beaumont, TX office by the age of seven.
The Initial Evaluation
By age seven, most baby teeth have already been lost and most permanent teeth have already erupted. As a result, the age of seven is the perfect time for orthodontists to evaluate a patient’s bite and determine whether or not there will be enough room for the eruption of all remaining teeth.
Evaluation vs. Treatment
Our orthodontists’ initial evaluation of your child’s teeth allows us to determine if there are any pressing issues that need to be addressed right away. If the mouth appears to be healthy and developing just fine, then the evaluation gives us a starting point to work off of in case your child needs to come back later for orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign. We can then monitor your child’s growth patterns until such time when intervention is required.
When Is Early Treatment Necessary?
In some cases, our orthodontists might recommend early orthodontic intervention. This usually has to do with the state of your child’s bite or how their jaw is aligned. We may also offer orthodontic treatment options to correct bad habits that could affect the development of your child’s mouth. Common cases where early orthodontic treatment is necessary include:
- Crossbite – when the upper teeth rest behind the lower teeth while the mouth is closed. In this situation our orthodontists might recommend widening the upper jaw, which is easier and less painful when it is not yet fully developed. More complicated situations may require surgery.
- Crowding – when there is not enough room for the teeth to develop. Here, tooth extraction or palatal expansion might assist with the healthy eruption of the adult teeth. This could also reduce the length of braces treatment time later on.
- Protruding teeth – teeth that stick out. This issue can make a child feel self-conscious, and it makes teeth vulnerable to chipping and breaking. Correction through orthodontic appliances while the child is still growing may lower the risk of requiring surgery to fix the issue later on.
- Thumb-sucking. While this habit is normal for young children, it can cause teeth to move and the jaws to change shape if it persists long past the age of four.
- Mouth breathing – an abnormal breathing pattern where the mouth is always open. This problem can lead to abnormal jaw growth. Our orthodontists can help diagnose and treat this habit at our Beaumont, TX office.
Schedule an Evaluation for Your Child Today
It’s never too early to get your child started on the path to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. So even if jaw and tooth misalignment issues have yet to show up, it’s a great idea to bring child in to see an orthodontist by the age of seven. That way, you are ahead of the curb in ensuring their future orthodontic health and development. So, don’t wait; schedule an appointment online today, or reach out to us directly at 409-832-2200!