Orthodontic treatment can help individuals of any age. But in order to prevent oral health problems later in life, it's best to seek out an orthodontist at an early age. Get to know the recommended age range for an early examination as well as signs that someone may need further orthodontic treatment.
Age Range for First Visit
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a child should meet with an orthodontist no later than age 7. When a child reaches this age, an orthodontist can spot issues with tooth and jaw growth that may later pose oral health complications. Some of those issues include:
Gaps Between Teeth
Although braces can correct all sorts of tooth misalignment issues, people often associate the orthodontic device with correcting gaps between teeth. Gaps can lead to difficulty in chewing, speech problems, and low self-esteem. An orthodontist can offer early solutions to the problem.
When teeth grow too close together, they may overlap or displace one another. This makes it difficult to properly brush and floss, and eventually increases the risk of other dental problems, such as cavities and infections. An orthodontic device can correct the issue, giving your child a better chance at maintaining a healthy mouth.
Breathing through your nose is more advantageous than breathing through your mouth. That's because your nasal breathing moistens and filters air as it heads to your lungs. Habitual mouthing breathing, on the other hand, can have a negative effect on everything from facial development to academic performance.
Mouth breathing may be the result of an anterior open bite. This is when the top and bottom front teeth slant outward and fail to touch when the mouth is closed. An orthodontist can spot this condition and offer ways to correct it early.
Thumb or Finger Sucking
Thumb sucking is a natural reflex. However, if children don't drop the habit over time, it could eventually have a negative effect on oral development. Some of those effects include overbite, speech impediment, or changes to facial development. An orthodontist can assess whether late thumb sucking has altered jaw or tooth growth.
Irregular Loss of Baby Teeth
Children often begin to lose their baby teeth around age 6. Early or late loss may indicate developmental problems. Inform the orthodontist of your child's tooth development, so the specialist can determine whether or not further steps will be necessary to correct the issue.
Early Orthodontic Treatment in Aurora
It's important to note that you don't have to wait until a child is 7 years old to visit an orthodontist. In some cases, developmental problems may be more obvious, and you should seek an expert's opinion as soon as possible. For early orthodontic treatment in Aurora, you can reach out to Colorado Orthodontics. We accept patients of any age, and our team of experts can offer preventative oral health treatments to ensure your child grows up with a bright and healthy smile.