As a parent, you want what is best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. Your children will be treated as if they were our own by your team at Varghese Orthodontics.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontist at age 7. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Varghese to diagnose and assess jaw growth patterns, spacing needs, and any abnormalities that may exist.
Dr. Varghese will perform an initial exam to evaluate your child’s mouth. Many children at age 7 do not require treatment, and we will monitor them until the permanent teeth erupt. However, for some children, it is advisable to start treatment “early” (with baby teeth still present) to intercept issues that may present bigger problems as a child gets older.
There are many reasons why AGE 7 is important for your child’s first evaluation:
- We can evaluate jaw growth patterns and stage treatment at the appropriate time.
- With our complimentary exam, Dr. Varghese is able to evaluate issues such as:
- Overbite or underbite
- Open bite or deep bite
- Spacing or crowding
- Dental or skeletal protrusion
- Finger/Thumb habits
For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of straight teeth! There may be underlying issues that can only be seen in x-rays or during a clinical exam. A very important component to the success of orthodontic treatment is timing. We would much rather see your child at 7 years old and suggest monitoring rather than seeing them too late!
Orthodontic treatment can be started on certain types of tooth problems before all permanent teeth have erupted. Early treatment, which usually takes place when there is a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth present ( ages 7 – 10 ), may be recommended. Treatment usually takes 6 to 12 months and variety of appliances may be used to correct specific problems.
There are a lot of advantages of Early Treatment!
- Moves the front teeth back so they will be less susceptible to injury.
- Improves relationship of upper and lower jaws, allowing more normal future growth and development.
- Uses maximum advantage of growth for successful treatment.
- Improves facial appearance and self-esteem.
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
- Difficulty in chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, protruded, or blocked-out teeth
- Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Speech Impediments
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth