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The Importance of an Early Orthodontic Evaluation

When your child’s dentist recommends a visit to an orthodontist, it’s a good idea to listen. Orthodontic evaluations are recommended by age 7 or 8 for every child, but especially for a kid whose dentist says, “It’s time.” They have clearly seen something that could use early orthodontic treatment.

What to Expect at an Orthodontic Evaluation

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid the orthodontist. Your kid has only lost a handful of baby teeth. Their smile looks straight. They’re just so little. Here’s the reality: Everything might look just fine on the surface of your child’s smile, but it’s what’s happening under the gumline that makes all the difference.

At the consultation, multiple types of digital images will be taken and carefully reviewed to measure the size of your child’s jaw and bite and identify where their yet-to-erupt adult teeth are positioned. The orthodontist will also examine their entire mouth, where adult teeth are located, and how their jaw is likely to change over time. An early orthodontic evaluation delivers a diagnosis now and anticipates the future to save you and your child time and discomfort.

Signs That Early Orthodontics May Be Needed

There are often visible signs or habits that point to the need for early orthodontic treatment. Some of the most common ways to tell if your child could use treatment include:

  • Thumb sucking, especially after age 5
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crowded front teeth
  • Speech impediments
  • An obvious overbite or underbite
  • Mouth breathing
  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (should start around age 5)

You don’t have to wait for your dentist’s recommendation to see an orthodontist. You know your child best and if it seems like braces are in their future, make the appointment now.

Two-Phase Treatment for Strong Smiles

Orthodontists understand that many people think braces for little kids is overkill. After all, they still have plenty of growing to do. However, if some orthodontic problems aren’t addressed early, the growing will continue in the wrong direction and interfere with oral health. Eventually, they will need braces anyway and the work that needs done will be difficult and complex.

Getting your child’s teeth into a better position at a young age sets them up for success. Say, for example, the teeth are crowded and there is an overbite. An expander opens the palate, gets the jaw into proper position for the eruption of adult teeth, and minimizes the need for lengthy orthodontic treatment during the teen years thanks to two-phase treatment. And the expander only takes about a year. Your child will be more comfortable, less embarrassed by their teeth, and ready for braces when the time comes.

Schedule an Early Orthodontic Evaluation in Monroe

An early orthodontic evaluation simplifies later orthodontic treatment, identifies subtle but significant development problems, and improves self-esteem for kids who feel self-conscious about their noticeable teeth or unusual smiles. Some orthodontics may be noticeable for a brief time, but getting your child treated for alignment and bite issues early is a gift to them now and later. Schedule an evaluation at Mariana Orthodontics in Monroe, WA. Get on the path to a healthy, beautiful smile.

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    Dr. Mariana Orthodontics
    770 West Main Street
    Monroe, WA 98272

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