As a parent, you only want what’s best for your child. You want them to live a happy, healthy life, and you know that oral hygiene has an important role to play in that. Because of this, you’ve taught them how to brush and floss, and have taken them to see the dentist regularly. But have you taken them to an orthodontist?
Why an Orthodontist
If you’ve been diligent in taking your child to the dentist, you might wonder why you would need to see an orthodontist in the first place. The answer is that it’s because dentists and orthodontists have different roles to play when it comes to caring for your child’s teeth. Dentists take care of the overall health and beauty of a smile. Orthodontists, on the other hand, diagnose, prevent, and correct issues with the alignment of both teeth and jaws.
When the Time Is Right
So when should your child see an orthodontist? Generally, it’s recommended that your child see an orthodontist around the age of 7, though if signs of problems are noticed sooner, it’s fine to see them earlier. The earlier problems are spotted, the more quickly they can be treated. The reason for this recommendation is because this is roughly the age at which children tend to start losing baby teeth and have permanent teeth coming in. An orthodontist can help spot potential problems and address them before they become an issue, but only if they have a chance to see your child.
What to Expect
In some ways the first visit to the orthodontist may seem like a regular dental checkup. The orthodontist will likely take x-rays of both teeth and jaw, and may make a mold of the teeth as well. The teeth and their alignment will be examined. Your orthodontist may have questions about things like chewing, biting, swallowing, and opening or closing the jaw. Depending on what he or she finds, your child may be recommended for further treatment, or they may not.
Orthodontists have an important role to play in the health of your child’s teeth, just like the dentist does. Understanding why it’s important to see an orthodontist, when, and what to expect can all help both you and your child be better prepared and more empowered to take an active role in caring for their teeth. Just remember, if you have any questions, you can always call them and ask.
Here at Stellar Kids Dentistry, we offer more than just dental services. Check out our Pediatric Orthodontics that we offer on site so you don’t have to travel anywhere else for your child’s oral care.