About four million people in the U.S. wear braces, and a quarter of them are adults. But metal braces aren’t all there is to orthodontic treatment. Even in the youngest years, a quick orthodontic checkup can be helpful to make sure everything is going just right with those first “baby teeth.”
Also called primary teeth, milk teeth, or even deciduous teeth (like the tree), this set of teeth starts to develop when the child is still a tiny embryo. They show up in the mouth around six months after birth, and children will usually have a complete set around two and a half years of age.
Most parents know a child should go to the dentist within the first year of life – it’s only natural once teeth start coming in. But did you know that your child should also visit an orthodontist? While the exact timing might vary, it’s definitely a good idea!
So, when should you schedule time with your local Port Orange orthodontist?
If you notice any of these three situations, it may be time:
1. You Notice an Orthodontic Problem
What is orthodontic treatment all about?
Adults often go to the orthodontist to help with gaps between teeth, but these are much harder to spot with a baby. Much more crucial at this early age is tooth alignment: If teeth are coming in straight rather than crooked, they leave room for others to come in.
When the first few teeth to arrive aren’t straight, they can lead to painful complications such as an impacted tooth. This can happen with either or both sets of teeth. But when teeth are examined by a friendly Port Orange orthodontist, you can take action to make things better.
Teeth that aren’t quite straight tend to lead to more noticeable teething symptoms, so your child may already be trying to alert you. Likewise, there are some habits – such as thumb-sucking – that can have an effect on the teeth when they’re continued long-term.
It might not be easy to spot an emerging orthodontic problem. If you feel like something “isn’t quite right,” follow your intuition. It is always better to double-check with an expert. If nothing is amiss, you can get reassured. And if there is an issue, your child can get prompt orthodontic treatment.
2. Your Dentist Recommends It
Young children generally go to the dentist before the orthodontist. The first dental visit should take place by 12 months of age, or within six months of the first tooth coming in. Every child gets their first teeth at a different rate, so it’s important to keep an eye out.
Dentists focus on the general health of the teeth and gums, so they can’t treat a problem with tooth misalignment, but they might have concerns. Tooth alignment is essential to a healthy smile since a child’s first set of teeth can influence the way the adult teeth grow.
Early orthodontic treatment is a valuable way to prevent some of the most troublesome complications that could crop up. If a dentist recommends you follow up with an orthodontist, it’s best to make the time, even if it seems a tad early. You could help those “growing up” years go by a little bit easier.
3. It’s Time for Your Child’s Seventh Birthday
The seventh birthday is a good, long time away from the original arrival of the baby teeth. In fact, it’s the season when adult teeth join the party. This is another area where every child takes it at their own pace, but kids should be shedding baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 7.
If everything has gone smoothly up until this point, congratulations!
Now is the perfect time to meet up with your favorite Port Orange orthodontist and prepare for the next phase in a child’s orthodontic health. An orthodontist can monitor the alignment of both the old and new teeth, helping to ensure that adult teeth arrive straight and true.
If braces will be necessary for your little one, this is also when that first becomes apparent to an expert. Children typically start with braces once all of their adult teeth arrive – and the earlier they do begin, the faster the results usually are. But two-phase treatment can begin even before braces.
If it’s time to choose your family orthodontist, you’re invited to Beauchamp Orthodontics. We’re a friendly, warm, and welcoming office for patients of all ages. To get started with Dr. Beauchamp, simply set up a consultation today.