When Should Parents Get Orthodontics for Children
In the United States and Canada alone, almost 4 million people ages 18 and younger are wearing some form of corrective dental treatment, such as braces or retainers. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, most maligned bites are minor and do not need any form of treatment at all.
Children may need braces for a number of dental conditions, such as crooked teeth, a crowded jaw or a malocclusion. A malocclusion occurs when there is a difference in size between the upper and lower jaw, thus resulting in an uneven bite. An overbite occurs when the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw while an underbite occurs when the lower jaw is bigger.
There are also times when your child’s dental condition can be caused by losing their baby teeth too early or through habits like thumb sucking. However, most of the time, dental problems are inherited. If you or your partner has crooked teeth, chances are great that your children will have crooked teeth as well.
Talk to Your Dentist
If your child has a dental problem like an overbite or an underbite, the first thing that you should do is take the child to a dentist. You will need a special type of dentist: an orthodontist. An orthodontist specializes in teeth alignment and jaw alignment problems.
Here at Smile Institute, our main goal is to get our patients to smile! We have an excellent, friendly staff who would be happy to serve your dental needs. Dr. Richard Smith is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and he has a wonderful manner with kids!
A visit to your orthodontist is the first thing on your list because your dentist will be able to tell you the steps you should take. There is actually no set age when you should take your child to see an orthodontist, but more often than not, it is when the permanent teeth start to grow. This is the time when you will notice any problems with your child’s teeth.
The Orthodontic Process
When your child visits the orthodontist, he or she will thoroughly examine the child’s mouth, teeth and jaw to determine if there are any alignment problems. Your orthodontist will also ask if your child has a history of bad oral habits, such as thumb sucking or biting down on toys. Finally, the orthodontist may decide that X-rays or molds of the teeth and the jaw are needed to diagnose your child’s jaw and teeth alignment properly.
Should Parents Wait?
Yes, the bottom line is that parents should wait for the proper diagnosis from a licensed orthodontist such as Dr. Smith before deciding to get orthodontics for their children. Orthodontics is an expensive and long-drawn process, and you want to be sure that getting them would be in the best interest of your child.
If you want to see whether or not orthodontics would be right for your child, drop by the Smile Institute at the Oakway Center, in Eugene, Oregon. If you can’t make it, we would love to hear from you! Just give us a call at 541-484-1955.