When Should Parents Get Orthodontics for Children?
In the United States and Canada, almost 4 million people ages 18 and younger are wearing some form of corrective dental treatment. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, most maligned bites are minor and do not need any form of treatment at all. This is why it is important to learn when it is appropriate to get orthodontics for children.
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, resulting in an uneven bite. An overbite occurs when the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw while an under-bite 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 under-bite, the first thing that you should do is consult your dentist. They will help you find an orthodontist for your treatment. An orthodontist specializes in teeth alignment and jaw alignment problems. Some dentists are also able to provide orthodontic services such as Invisalign or Candid.
There is technically no set age of when you should take your child to see an orthodontist. But more often than not, it is when their permanent teeth start to grow. This is the time when you will typically notice any problems with your child’s teeth.
The Orthodontic Process
When your child visits the orthodontist, they will thoroughly examine your 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.
Once a complete examination is done, the orthodontist will explain which treatment fits your child’s needs best and determine the amount of time they will be wearing corrective treatment. Most orthodontic cases take 18 months to 3 years to complete. With options like Invisalign however, treatment can be as quick as 5 weeks.
Should Parents Wait?
Yes, the bottom line is that parents should wait for the proper diagnosis from a licensed orthodontist such as Dr. Sutter before making any decisions. 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.