A Child’s First Orthodontic Visit

blog picsAs  parents, one of our primary concerns is our children’s health, and their smile is no exception. When starting a child on the path to dental health many parents wonder when to bring their child to an Orthodontist.

The majority of dental professionals agree the ideal age for a child’s initial orthodontic visit is 8. At that age, many problems can be identified and corrected so future dental treatment is considerably less complex.

Here are a few important things Dr. Hage will evaluate at your child’s first appointment:

  • Tooth Loss and Eruption: By age 8, children should have at least four permanent molars and four permanent incisors. If there are problems with eruption sequence, issues involving crowding, missing, or extra teeth can be identified and addressed.
  • Crowding and Spacing: Even without all the permanent teeth in place, an Orthodontist can evaluate whether your child has a problem with crowding or excess space. Sometimes a baby tooth has been lost prematurely, a tooth never developed, or the teeth are just too small. Severe crowding can usually be treated with arch development or expansion to properly guide the adult teeth as they erupt, avoiding extraction of permanent teeth in the future. 
  • Alignment: Although teeth can be aligned at an older age, crooked teeth are more susceptible to uneven wear or damage due to trauma. In certain cases, your child’s self-esteem can be dramatically improved with simple alignment, giving them a perfect, picture-worthy smile.
  • Protrusive Front Teeth: If your child’s teeth are overly protrusive they are at risk for accidental damage. Many of these traumatic incidents occur when your child is engaged in routine activities.  Although we usually don’t attempt to fully resolve incisor protrusion until your child’s full dentition is in place, treatment for protrusive teeth at an early age will greatly reduce the risk of incisor trauma. 
  • Posterior Crossbites: Not only do posterior crossbites create crowding, they may also cause the jaw to shift laterally (to one side or the other) causing potential skeletal asymmetry. Palatal expansion and development can reduce the crowding and create the space necessary for the eruption of permanent teeth and eliminate any jaw shifting associated with a constricted upper arch.
  • Anterior Openbites and Deepbites: Bites that are too deep (where the top teeth completely cover the bottom) are usually a sign that your child has a small lower jaw.  Excessively deep bites can potentially restrict the development of the lower jaw.  Bites that don’t overlap enough (“open bites”) typically are caused by a finger or tongue habit.  We eliminate these destructive habits as early as possible to allow normal dental development.

Hage Orthodontics is devoted to starting every child on the path to the perfect and healthy smile.  Our top priority is to provide our family of patients the highest quality orthodontic care in a convenient, friendly and comfortable environment.

If you are seeking the best orthodontic treatment possible for your child, please schedule an appointment at one our offices.  We have locations in Mattoon, Decatur and Effingham and would appreciate the opportunity to welcome you to our practice.

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