Why Children Should See an Orthodontist Sooner Rather Than Later

children see orthodontist

Valderrama Orthodontics can help guide your child’s permanent teeth as they are coming in, which can prevent a number of developmental oral problems when your child matures. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Early prevention is best” when it comes to medical ailments. The same is true with orthodontics. The sooner your child comes to see your friendly and affordable orthodontist in Viera, Rockledge, or Melbourne, the better the outcome will be down the road.

What Age is Best for the First Orthodontic Visit?

It’s recommended that all kids come in for their first orthodontic visit no later than the age of 7. Your child should have a mixture of primary and permanent teeth by then. This allows Dr. Valderrama to examine your child’s mouth and determine whether there are going to be any developmental issues that can be dealt with sooner, rather than later. If your child is over the age of 7 and hasn’t had their first visit with us, don’t worry. Just contact us and schedule an appointment. Better late than never!

Problems Your Orthodontist Will Look For

Orthodontists are specially trained to identify and correct developmental problems with the teeth and jawbones. An early orthodontic visit can let you know whether your child’s teeth are going to come in perfectly straight, or if a potential problem is brewing.

For example, sometimes a baby tooth won’t fall out on time. If it stays in place and a permanent tooth tries to erupt beneath it, that permanent tooth can come in behind or in front of the spot where it should naturally grow. Or, it can push other permanent teeth aside, resulting in crooked teeth.

The orthodontist will also check to see whether proper growth and development of the jaw is taking place. This can determine whether your child will have an overbite or underbite, or whether the permanent teeth will be overcrowded or will have unwanted spaces between them.

Benefits of Developmental Orthodontics

If your orthodontist doesn’t find any problems with the teeth or jawbone, a followup visit will be recommended in another year or two. But if an early potential problem is diagnosed, the doctor will recommend a course of treatment based on your child’s age and the specific problem.

Developmental orthodontics can help guide the growth of the permanent teeth and jawbone. Some benefits of developmental orthodontics include:

  • Preventing teeth from coming in crooked or shifting.
  • Reduce the need for extracting permanent teeth later on.
  • Adjust gaps between permanent teeth.
  • Monitor the growth of the jaw and guide its development.
  • Help kids to have a great smile!

Not only will developmental orthodontic treatments help your child to have a fantastic smile, but it can also help with their speech. Straight teeth are important for developing proper speech patterns. They can also impact the types of foods your child can eat. If your child is going to need braces at some point, developmental orthodontics can benefit that process as well — potentially shortening the number of months that your child’s braces treatment will require.

What Age is Best for Affordable Braces?

In the majority of cases, treatment with braces will not begin until all of a child’s permanent teeth are in. For boys, this usually happens between the ages of 9 and 10. For girls, it happens around age 8 to 9. Prior to your child reaching that age, Dr. Valderrama might prescribe an orthodontic appliance to help better prepare the teeth for braces.

An example of this type of appliance is an expander. An expander is custom fitted to your child’s mouth and is made in a special Lab. This appliance fits over the teeth and helps to grow making more space for the teeth and to guide their bones development as your child is growing. The end result of wearing an expander is that your child may not need to wear braces for as long as what they might have had to without them.

Schedule Your Child’s First Orthodontic Visit

If you’d like to schedule your child’s first visit at Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne, Rockledge, or Viera, contact our office today. We look forward to seeing you at one of our convenient locations!