Did you know that as soon as your child loses their baby teeth, you can begin orthodontic planning? In fact, The American Association of Orthodontists advises that children receive their first orthodontic exam before they reach the age of seven. Why so young? At seven children haven’t lost all their baby teeth, nor have their adult teeth fully emerged. The reason is simple: early orthodontic planning and intervention can prevent the need for orthodontic treatment in later years. Here’s why you should start pre-orthodontic observation for your child.
The Child vs. Adult Mouth
As we age, our bones become more rigid, making the orthodontic procedures required to shift teeth more difficult. Our mouths become drier as we age; that means we are at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. By identifying potential orthodontic issues when we are young, the odds are reduced that we will need orthodontic treatment as age. Likewise, orthodontic observation in the early years can prevent other issues, like bruxism (teeth grinding), permanent tooth extraction, and maxillofacial issues. Plus, your orthodontist will keep an eye on baby teeth, especially the stubborn ones that may be working to prevent any of their adult counterparts from erupting.
Planning for the Future
The emphasis of pre-orthodontic care for young children is more for observation and less for treatment. That’s why it’s recommended that your child see an orthodontist by age seven. Your orthodontist will look for any signs that indicate there could be orthodontic concerns as your child matures. Depending on what your orthodontist observes, he may make a recommendation for behavioral changes – such as weaning away from thumb sucking; or advice about hygiene issues. Your orthodontist will determine whether there are any maxillofacial issues that are affecting the jawline or could result in issues like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, which causes pain and soreness of the jaw and teeth. He will look for any misalignment or impacted teeth. He will also determine if there is adequate space for permanent teeth to emerge as the child matures.
Pre-orthodontic Care in Plantation
Few dentists perform pre-orthodontic observation, but if you happen to live in Plantation, consider yourself lucky! Dr. Ernie Soto, a dentist and orthodontist in Plantation, will watch for orthodontic issues with each exam. Dr. Soto specializes in dental care orthodontics for both children and adults. After careful assessment of your child’s teeth, he will put together a highly personalized orthodontic plan and monitor your child’s progress from youth through adulthood. If you are looking for a full-service dentist and orthodontist for yourself or your family, call Dr. Soto today at (954) 368-6264 or request an appointment online now for a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.