When Will a Kids Dentist Refer to an Orthodontist?
As a kid's dentist office, we help young patients to have good oral health. Strong oral health begins when a child is a toddler. The steps one takes to keep teeth healthy will include creating a daily routine that promotes oral health and making it to our office at least twice a year for regular cleanings. Visiting a dentist twice a year is an excellent way to keep teeth in good condition as a child grows.
During these routine dental appointments, we get a lot of questions from parents. One of them happens to be when will the child need braces or if they will need them at all. To that effect, it helps to understand when we will typically refer to an orthodontist.
When is the right time to visit an orthodontist?
Children can visit the orthodontist as early as 7 years of age. At this time, they will not be ready to have actual braces. However, there are other orthodontic solutions that can be used. Things like an expander are highly effective for helping to create space when necessary. For children to truly be ready for a full orthodontic treatment, they need to have all or most of their permanent teeth.
This typically happens somewhere between 10 and 12 years of age. At this point, it is easier for a child to visit an orthodontist and actually start the process of wearing braces. Still, many parents prefer to visit an orthodontist early to begin addressing issues and to create a future plan for treatment.
Signs a child needs orthodontic intervention
There are several signs to watch for that a child may need braces, including:
- Large spaces in between teeth
- Teeth that fell out when they were very young
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth growing in front or behind of each other
- Over or underbite
- Teeth not coming together when the jaw is closed
If we observe any of these during a routine dental examination, we may suggest visiting an orthodontist. As a parent, you can watch for these signs at home as well.
How a kid's dentist can help
We help children to smile brightly. Additionally, it is important to bring them to our office, because in many cases we can prevent the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. The reason this is possible is because one of the common reasons that teeth need to be straightened is because a child lost them too early. When a tooth falls out due to an accident or decay, the teeth in the surrounding areas will begin to move and encroach upon the space.
This creates a bad situation where the new tooth has no place to go when it does eventually grow in. Overcrowding results and an orthodontic treatment becomes imminent. By keeping teeth healthy and strong, they are less likely to fall out prematurely, preventing this common problem.
Visit our kid's dentist office for care
Improve the appearance of your child's smile by visiting our office on a regular basis by keeping their teeth healthy and clean. We can also give them a mouth guard to prevent accidental tooth loss due to a sports injury.