Your Child's First Orthodontist Visit

As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile that should begin with regular dental care. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the dentist by his or her first birthday, while baby (primary) teeth are erupting. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing. But sometimes parents are the first to recognize a problem with the alignment of teeth and jaws.

All Kids Should Get a Consultation with an Orthodontist No Later Than Age 7.

To have a healthy smile that’s good for life, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child have a consultation with a Board Certified Orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7. By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing.

Putting off a consultation with an orthodontist until a child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. A consultation no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

If you would like to see if your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment, call our office at (360) 943-6600 to schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation.

Signs the Bite’s Not Right

It’s not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding an unhealthy bite.

Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

• Early or late loss of baby teeth.
• Difficulty in chewing or biting
• Breathing through the mouth
• Thumb-sucking
• Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
• Jaws that are too far forward or back
• Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
• Protruding teeth
• Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
• An unbalanced facial appearance
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

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