Preventative dental care, including preventative orthodontic services, can help your child enjoy a lifetime of good oral health. While you cannot control genetics that may affect your child’s tooth development, you can control environmental factors that affect development by partnering with an orthodontist to help your child achieve a confident smile that lasts a lifetime.
Starting orthodontic preventative care with an orthodontist from a young age should be a part of your dental care plan for your child. Being proactive with your child’s oral health by taking preventative steps and working with your orthodontist early on will benefit your child.
What Are the Benefits of Preventative Care?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child sees the orthodontist at around the age of seven. Early evaluation can identify potential problems that will need to be addressed down the road.
In most cases, the best orthodontists see children as young as seven not to fit them with braces but to provide preventative orthodontic treatments that can reduce potential problems. Baby teeth start falling out around this age, which means that secondary teeth start coming in. Preventative orthodontics can:
- Help guide secondary (permanent) teeth into position, which can help prevent spacing issues and the overcrowding of teeth
- Provide treatments that will protect the front teeth from trauma
- Improve your child’s oral health & smile confidence
Most people think of the orthodontist as the specialist to see for teeth straightening. While it is true that over 4 million people in the U.S. who wear braces do see an orthodontist for teeth straightening, an orthodontist also provides great preventative services. Seeing an orthodontist for preventative treatment early on can help your child avoid complications in the future and keep their oral health in tip-top shape.
How Do You Know if Your Child Needs Preventative Orthodontic Treatment?
There are a few signs that your child may need preventative treatments from an orthodontist. These include the following:
- Their baby teeth have fallen out too soon or are taking too long to fall out
- Your child has a speech impediment
- Your child sucks their thumb after the age of five
- Their adult teeth are not coming in
- Your child’s teeth are protruding
- Their jaw shifts when they open it and close it
Making an appointment with an orthodontist if your child is experiencing any of the above will ensure that they get the focused preventative orthodontic treatment that will correct problems quickly. Early interventions get the best results.
What Can You Expect During Treatment?
A preventative orthodontist visit will include a complete assessment. The orthodontist will assess your child’s tooth, facial, and jaw growth. If needed, they will develop a care plan with you for your child. Every child has unique orthodontic needs, so their exact course of treatment will change depending on those needs.
Between your general dentist and your orthodontist, your child will get preventative treatment that will get them on track for a lifetime of good oral health and a smile they can be proud of. Call Image Orthodontics today to learn more about preventative orthodontic care for your child and how you can make an appointment for them this year.