Early Treatment: Does Your Child Need To See An Orthodontist?

By Dr. Curtis Dunn

As an orthodontist I’m often asked about the best time to have children evaluated for orthodontic treatment. The challenge is that every kid is different! However, a good milestone is around age seven, when a child’s jaw is developed enough, and he or she has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to tell if there are any current issues… or any that may come up down the line.

We talk a lot about early intervention in orthodontics because there are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment as a younger child, including shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. Here at Dunn Orthodontics, when we see children early enough, we can minimize crowding to make room for teeth that have yet to come in, help to guide jaw growth and work to correct the results of childhood habits like thumb sucking before they turn into more significant orthodontic issues.

That aside, there are signs that you can look for that will help you to identify when it’s the right time for a visit to the orthodontist:

● Particularly early or late loss of baby teeth
● Difficulty chewing or biting into food
● Grinding and/or clenching of teeth
● Mouth breathing
● Thumb or other finger sucking
● Teeth that look crowded in the mouth
● Jaw shifts or jaw noises like popping
● Protruding teeth
● Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all
● Jaw and teeth that do not appear to be proportionate to your child’s face

Keep in mind that these signs do not necessarily mean that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation may be a good idea.

Do some of these signs look familiar to you?

At Dunn Orthodontics we offer complimentary new patient exams. Make an appointment with us at either of our two locations to discuss treatment options for your child today! You can call us at (651) 738-3866 in Woodbury or 651-738-3866 in Cottage Grove.

Or simply click the link below to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/orthodunn/ for more information about our practice and to read patient reviews.