Does Your Child Need Orthodontic Treatment?
by Dr. Ryan Roberts
In my house, learning to say “mama” or “dada” was closely followed by learning the word “cheese!” Taking pictures of our kids is so natural they learn how to pose before they learn how to walk. In all that picture taking, it’s impossible to remember how many times my wife and I have directed our kids to “smile big for the camera!”
Our children’s mouths become a focal point of their development before their mouths are even fully developed. And for good reason! Their teeth have a profound impact on their looks, their health, their speech, and their confidence.
That’s why, as their parents we want them to have beautiful, straight, healthy smiles. And to do that, orthodontics is needed at times.
An attractive smile has a huge impact on your child’s self-confidence. That emotional aspect can’t be ignored. However, the visual benefits may not even be the most important reason to consider orthodontic treatment. It’s also about function.
Good teeth and jaw alignment are necessary for proper biting, chewing, and speaking. Orthodontic treatment can also help your child’s face, lips, and teeth develop into proportion. All of this has an impact on keeping your child free from gum disease, tooth decay, as well as long-term health issues; such as loss of bone tissue, broken teeth, and chronic pain in the head, neck, and jaw.
Generally, children should have their first orthodontic check-up by age 7.
At this age, they have a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth, giving the orthodontist a chance to see how your child’s teeth and jaw are growing. If there are problems already present or problems that could happen down the road, your orthodontist will have the opportunity to create a treatment plan that fits your child’s development.
Once your child’s face and jaws are no longer growing, some orthodontic problems cannot be corrected. This is why it’s important to get ahead of any issues they may experience.