When Should My Child Get An Orthodontic Evaluation?

Perfectly straight teeth are not always a gift from Nature. In a lot of cases, teeth don’t really start to grow as we want them to, leading to some alignment imperfections that in modern dentistry are easily treated with a variety of procedures.

When it comes to children, parents likely wonder when they should take their little one to an orthodontist for an early evaluation to ensure their tooth alignment won’t affect the child’s oral health or even confidence.

The answer might surprise you: 6-7 years old.

Why Does My 6 Year Old Need an Orthodontist Appointment?

Orthodontists generally recommend taking your child to an appointment when they are very young simply to ensure their teeth development is on the right track. While many parents think they need an orthodontist comes after all the child’s permanent teeth are grown, many potential dental issues can become apparent much earlier:

  • Badly gapped teeth
  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Jaw alignment problems
  • Even behavioral issues such as thumb-sucking

And when caught in their early stages, the treatment process is often much simpler and can help the child’s teeth develop properly.

Essentially, when you are taking a young child to your Irvine orthodontist, the treatments become preventative, instead of corrective. This can have a positive effect on the outcome, types of treatment necessary, and even the lengths of the treatment.

What Types of Orthodontic Treatments Can My Child Have?

Some common orthodontic treatments for children can include:

  • Headgear, necessary to correct jaw issues, such as an overbite or an underbite;
  • Palate expanders, which apply pressure to the teeth to encourage the jaw to expand and make more room to avoid misalignment or tooth crowding;
  • Aligners or braces to correct any apparent alignment issues in their early stages.

The type of orthodontic treatment your child may need will of course depend on the specific issues they are facing. 

The orthodontist will inspect the child’s mouths during the first appointment to identify the key issues they are dealing with, as well as get an overview of their oral health. Based on their assessment, the orthodontist will then establish the best course of action to ensure the little one gets a happy and healthy smile.

Will Orthodontic Treatments Hurt my Child?

It generally depends on the type of treatment they require, but if caught in their early stages, orthodontic treatments should not create major discomfort for your child. It is possible for them to feel a bit sore and uncomfortable, but the orthodontist can help provide you with more advice on how to manage it.

If your little one is due for an orthodontic appointment, Salt & Light Orthodontics in Irvine is happy to help!

To get started, please book an appointment with Dr. Stephan Yoon or Dr. Stephanie Purnomo, or call our Irvine office directly at (949) 243-0827 to find out more about our pediatric orthodontic services!

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