Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When, if ever, should my kid see an orthodontist?

When Should my Child See an Orthodontist?

Child's crowded teethThis is a great question. Most parents hope that the answer to this question is… never. Braces can be an expensive process. And if you have multiple children that need braces, the financial outlay can become burdensome. So, most parents hope that their child is one of the lucky ones whose teeth simply come in straight and won’t ever need to be straightened.
Well, how do you know? How do you know when, or even if, your child needs to go to the orthodontist? Here is some information that may help. This chart Problems to Watch for in Growing Children July 2012 (PDF) indicates some of the things to look for in your child’s oral development to assist in knowing if an appointment with an orthodontist is wise. These are not all of the issues out there, but it’s a very good sampling of what can go wrong.
As a general dentist, I can say that the use of an Orthodontic Specialist can be critical in the health of your child’s teeth. Teeth that are crowded are much harder to keep clean then teeth that are not crowded. A child’s speech development can be negatively affected by severe open bites. And, the list can go on and on. Making sure that your child’s teeth are straight is more than just about good looks. There is a very large functional component that is involved that must be considered.
Getting to an orthodontist is as easy as can be. You do not even need to have a referral from a general dentist. You can simply call an orthodontist and schedule an evaluation for your child. If you would prefer to have a referral simply visit your dentist and ask for a quick evaluation to see what they think.

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