Is Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children Necessary?
Parents are usually relieved to learn that early orthodontics at Karl Orthodontics is not about getting braces. It’s about setting your child up for a lifetime of optimal oral health, which is affected by the proper alignment and symmetry of their smile, jaw, and face.
Your child’s early evaluation for children's orthodontics in Grand Rapids, MI, is not simply for aesthetics but will help guide the growth and development of their jaw and teeth – preventing more serious problems later.
When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation occur by age seven – the time when adult teeth are erupting. At Karl Orthodontics, we evaluate erupting teeth to detect issues such as a possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. We can tell if your child will benefit from early treatment, as many problems may not be visibly apparent until prevention is too late. Beginning treatment at this optimal time not only ensures the greatest result but also means less time and expense down the road.
Signs That Your Child Needs an Orthodontic Assessment
Treatment at this early stage may not even be necessary. However, it is especially important to schedule a screening with Dr. Karl if you notice any of the following conditions in your child:
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting food
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Jaws that “pop” when opening & closing
- Misaligned teeth that close abnormally or without touching
- Jaws and teeth that are not in proportion to the rest of the face
What Is the Benefit of Early Treatment?
While parents don’t need to rush into obtaining braces for their young children, some oral health issues can be avoided with early screening and treatment, including:
- Open Bites – When the upper and lower teeth are unable to physically touch each other when the jaws are closed
- Crossbites – When the two rows of teeth don’t meet correctly. A misaligned bite can cause tooth decay, gum disease, stress on the jaw muscles, headaches, and more
- Speech Impediments - When your child's teeth are not positioned properly, certain speech issues like a lisp, slurring words, or mispronouncing consonant sounds can result
- Injury to Protruding Teeth - Genetics and certain childhood behaviors like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can result in protruding teeth. Protruding teeth make your child more susceptible to dental trauma, but can be addressed and corrected through early evaluation
When your child comes in for their complimentary appointment, our team will perform a thorough evaluation of their smile and bite. This will allow Dr. Karl to determine which type of treatment will be best suited to their needs. We will also take the time to educate you and your child on what to expect from treatment, plus answer any questions you may have prior to beginning treatment.
Schedule Your Child's Appointment for Children's Orthodontics in Grand Rapids, MI
To experience our 5-star-rated orthodontic care, schedule your Free New Patient Consultation today by calling (616) 459-7171. You may also use our convenient online form. Your appointment includes the following:
- Discuss Your Goals
- Digital X-Rays & Pictures
- Complete Exam
- Custom Treatment Plan
- Free Copy of Dr. Karl’s Book, Start Smiling Again: Your Guide to Obtaining A Beautiful Smile
During your appointment, we will take the time to explain our approach to treatment and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to helping you achieve your healthiest smile!