If you’re a parent you might be watching your child’s adult teeth come in, wondering if he or she will need braces.
But don’t let the mystery linger for too long. The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) recommends every child see an orthodontic care specialist by age seven.
The reason is simple: many problems are easier to correct before the jaw stops growing.
“Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery or other more serious corrections later in life,” the CAO says.
Not Just About Looks
If you’re on the fence about whether braces are a need or want, you should visit an orthodontic care specialist who can examine and monitor changes in your child’s mouth.
For some patients, the decision to get braces is purely aesthetic, but for many others, braces are needed for health reasons.
Overcrowded teeth, for example, can be difficult to clean, resulting in plaque buildup and tooth decay. Misaligned teeth – crossbite, overbite, underbite or open bite – can make chewing challenging and increase the risk of chipping and damage.
“Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction and chewing and digestive difficulties,” according to the CAO’s website. “A ‘bad bite’ can contribute to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.”
Where to Start
Relationships with orthodontic care specialists are often long-term. You can bring your child in for a consultation at age seven, but treatment might not start for months or years later.
On the first visit, orthodontists take X-rays and photographs to identify problems in a patient’s mouth. They then offer solutions that can require tooth extractions or waiting for a child’s primary teeth to fall out.
Before treatment begins, your orthodontic care specialist will walk you through the various types of braces that are available.
You will be able to choose between conventional braces (attached to the font of teeth), lingual braces (attached to the back of teeth), and clear aligners (plastic trays placed over the teeth).
Orthodontic care specialists are experts in correcting bad bites and finding the appropriate course of treatment for each patient.
Braces don’t just create wonderful similes, they ensure healthy mouths.
Don’t delay in visiting an orthodontist to get the facts and find out if you or your child might need braces.