Every concerned parent wants the best for their child. We take them to the pediatrician for their annual well checks, see the dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings, and make sure they eat all of their broccoli. But when is it appropriate for a mom, dad, or other caregivers to intervene in an orthodontic problem?

When Would a Parent or Guardian Need to Take Their Child to See an Orthodontist?

Your Child's Age

Some family or pediatric dentists will refer you to an orthodontist if they see a significant problem, but others may not. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children — by age 7 — have a formal orthodontic evaluation.

Why age 7? Because at this point, most children have developed what we call a “mixed dentition,” or a bite that is a combination of both permanent (adult) and primary (baby) teeth. Their tooth positioning at this age may indicate potential growth pattern problems or dental concerns that otherwise might not be noticeable for years.

Through early diagnosis (Phase 1 Treatment) it’s possible to intervene and address minor issues that — if left alone — could spiral into complex developmental characteristics that require surgery or lengthy treatments to correct.

Your Child's Self-Confidence

One of the most common things that we see when a child or teenager completes orthodontic treatment, is a visible change in their personality and level of self-confidence. Many kids unconsciously hide their teeth or avoid smiling because of embarrassment or self-consciousness. Some kids even present with speech problems that can lead to lack in communication and participation.

Correcting the alignment of their bite eliminates these aesthetic concerns, helping young personalities blossom at this important time of life. Orthodontic treatment can have a life changing experience for youth.

Oral Hygiene and Responsibility

Does your child have healthy gums and teeth? A key part to effective orthodontic treatment is good oral hygiene. If there is any tooth decay, your family dentist will need to correct these problems before starting treatment. Remember that regular dental check-ups are necessary for a healthy mouth.

Are you confident your child will be able to follow instructions? Your child will need follow through with proper daily maintenance to avoid broken brackets and stay on course for the proposed braces timeline. It is important to monitor your child’s compliancy with treatment.

Types of Problems an Orthodontist Can Help Correct

Here are some of the most common pediatric orthodontic concerns that we can treat at our Woodbury and Watertown, CT offices:

  • Severe crowding and tooth misalignment
  • Overbites, overjets, underbites, and underjets
  • Crossbites
  • Impacted teeth
  • Misalignment caused by premature tooth loss
  • Space maintenance  
  • Alignment issues associated with prolonged thumb, finger, or pacifier habits

Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation for your family at one of our Watertown and Woodbury locations.

Awesome experience with my daughters first appointment this week. We even just received a super sweet personalized note in the mail! All staff made her feel comfortable as she was a little hesitant.

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