Did you know that you can schedule an Annapolis orthodontics appointment for your child at age seven? This age is ideal because most children have lost some teeth and an orthodontist can see if the permanent teeth are erupting as they should. If not, the orthodontist will notate your child’s chart and may recommend that he or she receives braces within the next few years. Below are five typical reasons that orthodontists recommend braces for children.
- Crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth: Children with this issue may have some teeth that stick out further than others, teeth that grow in at an awkward angle, or a new tooth erupting over an existing tooth. These issues can prevent proper brushing and lead to more oral health problems.
- Improved aesthetics: When parents seek orthodontic treatment for their children, they cite improving the appearance of the smile as the most typical reason. They might not even know that having straight teeth reduces the possibility of tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.
- Large gap between teeth: A larger than normal gap between teeth affects the way your child’s jaw functions and can make eating painful. Unfortunately, this can cause malnutrition in children who refuse to eat because of pain.
- Underbite or overbite: If one of your child’s jaws protrudes too far or not as far as it should, it increases the probability of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and difficulty annunciating certain words.
- Constant discomfort: When the teeth are not aligned properly, your child may experience significant discomfort. Annapolis orthodontics corrects alignment issues that cause this ongoing oral pain.
Orthodontic Evaluations for Children
An Annapolis orthodontics professional will look at whether your child is experiencing teeth crowding, has extra or missing teeth, has wide gaps between teeth, and several other common issues that require orthodontics to fix. He or she will also measure the growth rate of your child’s face to determine the best time for braces.
When completing an initial examination, the orthodontist will also discuss habits such as tongue thrusting, jaw clenching, and thumb sucking that can affect the proper eruption of permanent teeth and impede the growth of your child’s face. This is not to lecture you or your child but to make sure you understand the effects of these habits and to provide additional resources when appropriate.
Immediately after completing the evaluation, your child’s orthodontist will present options for treatment to both you and your child. Possibilities include clear braces, ceramic braces, or invisible braces through a treatment called Invisalign. He or she should also explain the treatment plan, including how long your child will need to wear braces to improve of one or more of the above problems.