Your child should see a dentist before he or she is one years old. By the time the permanent teeth come in, the dentist should be part of their annual routine. When does the orthodontist come on board? The American Association of Orthodontists believes that orthodontic treatment begins long before the child becomes a teenager.
When Should Your Child See the Orthodontist For the First Time?
The AAO recommends that a child have his or her first orthodontist checkup around age seven. Not all the permanent teeth are in, but this is when the orthodontist can identify problems early. Of course, if you think that your child has dental problems, you can make an appointment before your child turns seven. You can also make an appointment for your child if he or she is older and has never seen the orthodontist.
If your child has special needs, make sure to tell the office when you make the appointment. If the orthodontist doesn’t have the accommodations for your child, it can be addressed before the visit. You may need to find an orthodontist who specializes in children with special needs.
What to Expect on Your First Appointment
This first visit is similar to the dental exam and should not be uncomfortable. You can be present during the exam or not, depending on your child’s wishes. The orthodontist may take x-rays of the child’s mouth to get a panoramic view of the teeth. Some orthodontists take pictures of the child’s face to track changes in the jaw.
At the first appointment, the orthodontist will hear the parent’s and child’s concerns. You’ll get to meet the staff and get answers to your questions. The exam consists of looking at how the teeth come together and the position of the jaws. The orthodontist will probably use a mirror to look at the back teeth.
What Will You Learn From a Child’s Orthodontist Appointment?
If the orthodontist finds a problem, you will be given treatment options to correct the problem. The orthodontist will discus the recommended treatment, both the length of it and the cost. Early intervention of some issues can be easier on the child, while some treatment options may have to wait for the permanent teeth to come in. Sometimes, the orthodontist recommends that you “wait and see” how the teeth and mouth develop.
Your child’s teeth will be healthier when the teeth are straighter. Make an appointment with an orthodontist, like an orthodontist in Dana Point, CA, for an appointment today.
Thank you to the experts at John Redmond Orthodontics for their input into orthodontic care.