Why Should Your Child See An Orthodontist Before Age 7?

Searching for an orthodontist for your little one? Look no further than Doc Ak and the SmileOntourage! SmileOn Orthodontics in Cedar Park gives kids (and their parents) the orthodontic expertise they deserve. Here’s why your child should see an orthodontist at age seven: 

The Magic Number: 7

Why is the age of seven such a big deal in orthodontics? Most kiddos have a combination of baby and adult teeth by this age, with the first adult molars usually having erupted by this time. These molars establish your child’s bite and lay the groundwork for jaw and facial development. Think of these teeth as the opening act for the rest of the adult teeth. We are also able to assess any breathing/airway issues that your child may be experiencing. This combo gives Doc Ak a unique window into your child’s dental future. You may think that all the permanent teeth need to be in place in order to start orthodontic treatment, but that is not always the case! If something is off, now is the time for us to catch it, making age 7 the perfect time to spot any issues that might become more significant later. 

Keep in mind that a visit at this age does not necessarily mean your child will need orthodontic treatment just yet. By taking baseline records and measurements, in many cases, an orthodontist can identify and intercept any potential future growth and/or jaw problems. 

Interceptive Phase I Treatment: What Is It?

Interceptive Phase I treatment is an early-bird approach to orthodontics. It targets children between the ages of six and ten. The goal is to tackle any orthodontic/airway issues before your child grows up and those issues become more complicated.

By stepping in early, we can help guide your child’s teeth into a better position, allowing the permanent teeth to erupt properly and simplifying any potential future treatment. It’s like setting the stage for a lifetime of dazzling smiles!

What issues can Phase I tackle? Great question! We’re talking about problems like crowding, crossbites, significant overbites/underbites, and airway issues. Early treatment can be a winner if your child shows any of these signs. It can prevent more severe issues later on down the road, which could require more drastic measures, like surgery. Yikes!

Early Signs to Watch For

Parents, you know your kids best. But when it comes to their teeth, what should you look for? Great news! We have a handy list to help you spot early signs that your child might need an orthodontic check-up.

Crowded Baby Teeth: Are those tiny teeth competing for space? That’s a clue that the adult teeth might face the same issue.

Thumb/Finger-Sucking: Cute in babies! But if it continues into toddlerhood, it could affect tooth alignment and the bite.

Mouth Breathing/Snoring: Seems harmless, right? But constant mouth breathing and/or snoring can actually lead to dental and facial issues.

Difficulty Chewing: If mealtime becomes a struggle, it might be more than just picky eating.

Speech Issues: Lisps or other speech challenges can sometimes be linked to dental issues.

Teeth Grinding: Often overlooked, it can lead to wear and tear on those precious teeth that we need to last us a lifetime.

Jaw Noises: Clicking or popping in the jaw could signal a more significant problem.

If any of these signs sound familiar, scheduling a visit with Doc Ak is a fantastic idea. Our team will give you the scoop on what’s happening and what steps to take next. 

Benefits of Early Visits

So, you’ve spotted some signs, and you’re thinking about that first orthodontic visit. Awesome! But what are the benefits for your kiddo?

Early interceptive treatment can make future comprehensive treatment a whole lot easier and faster, oftentimes preventing the potential need for the extraction of permanent teeth or orthognathic surgery. 

And let’s not forget the confidence boost! A great smile is a one-way ticket to sky-high self-esteem. Kids who feel good about their teeth and smile are more likely to flash those pearly whites. And hey, a happy kiddo makes for happy parents, right?

What to Expect at the First Visit

First impressions matter, especially regarding your child’s dental health. So, what’s the scoop on that all-important first visit with Doc Ak and the SmileOntourage? 

We roll out the red carpet for our little VIPs! Your child will get a warm welcome and an office tour. We want to make sure everyone feels right at home from the get-go. Next, we will take a quick x-ray/CBCT and some diagnostic photographs. You are more than welcome to come back into the clinic with your child while their orthodontic records are taken. It’s all super kid-friendly!

Next, it’s time for the main event. Doc Ak will closely examine your child’s teeth and jaw alignment. We will chat with you about any issues and discuss a game plan if needed. Whether it’s a high-five for excellent dental health or a chat about early treatment options, you’ll leave with ALL the facts.

Rest easy. Doc Ak and the entire SmileOntourage have got you and your kiddos covered every step of the way. Remember, early action can make a tremendous difference in your little one’s smile and overall dental health!

Visit us here to schedule your complimentary smile assessment.