Many dentists recommend that a child sees an orthodontist by the time they are seven years old. An orthodontist ought to see a child while they still have their baby teeth so he can identify potential problems like tooth-crowding or bite issues.
By seven, the child’s permanent teeth will have also started to emerge, and the orthodontist will be able to detect any developing problems — and correct them before they become serious. He can also spot problems caused by habits like thumb-sucking.
Problems with baby teeth can lead to problems with the adult teeth. Parents ought to schedule an appointment with a pediatric orthodontist if their child has any of the following problems:
• Difficulty chewing, biting or speaking
• Early or late loss of baby teeth
• Crowded or misplaced teeth
• They bite their cheek or roof of the mouth
• They grind their teeth
• Their jaw makes sounds or shifts
• Their jaws appear to be too far back or forward
What will happen during the first appointment?
The orthodontist may try to put the child at ease by introducing them to the staff and showing them around the office. He will want to determine what kind of treatment, if any, the child needs.
He will, therefore, examine the child’s teeth thoroughly and take X-rays and photographs of the child’s teeth and jaws. The pictures and X-rays will show if all of the child’s teeth have come in, and they will show how the teeth are positioned.
After the examination, the orthodontist will describe any problems he found and explain what he needs to do to correct them. Some possibilities could include pulling teeth to make room for other teeth, using a space expander, or using Invisalign® instead of traditional braces.
He will then take impressions of the child’s teeth and describe any needed appliances likes braces or retainers. The impression or mold will help the orthodontist decide how to straighten the child’s teeth, if necessary.
He will also discuss the costs of the treatment plan, and he and the staff will help the parents go over their insurance benefits. They will also help the parents choose any needed payment plans or financing options.
If the parents agree to the treatment plan, the orthodontist will schedule an appointment to get the needed appliances placed. He will explain the importance of good oral hygiene while the child is using the appliances. He will also describe the proper care of the appliances.
Contact Lach Orthodontic Specialists today to schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment.