Parents often ask, “should my young child visit an orthodontist before they reach an age where their permanent teeth grow in? If you assumed that the answer is “no,” then, unfortunately, you are badly mistaken. You should take your child to see an orthodontist, even if they only have their baby teeth still. Most pediatricians will advise you to take your infant in for an orthodontics check-up the moment that their first 2–3 teeth fully come in.
Parents Do Not Know What to Look For
When it comes to an infant’s first teeth or a small child’s teeth, parents will not know what to look for when assessing the overall health inside of their child’s mouth. Teeth that may look white and healthy to the untrained eye might feature telltale signs of teeth problems or even underlying health problems to a professional orthodontist. There are some signs, however, that a parent can spot when it comes to identifying red flags with a child’s teeth. If a child loses teeth a bit early for their age or a bit late, then that can signal an underlying problem. If a child has trouble opening or closing their mouth correctly, then that may indicate a teeth alignment issue or possibly even a structural jaw issue. If your child has trouble breathing or speaking properly, then this might also point to an underlying problem. Never assume you know what is going on, instead, leave this up to a trained professional.
Dentists vs. Orthodontists
A dentist typically evaluates the health of a child’s teeth and their gums. They can also give a person advice on diet and hygiene-related matters. If you have any disease that may be present within your oral cavity, then a dentist will know what to look for to spot it.
Orthodontists are different than regular dentists. Instead of evaluating a child’s teeth, gums, and the surface of their oral cavity, they instead look exceptionally closely at a child’s bite, jaw structure, and jaw movement. Orthodontists can very quickly see if a child’s bite or jaw are misaligned or otherwise malfunctioning. They generally start each patient evaluation by doing a complete jaw x-ray. This will allow them to observe that exact jaw setting carefully, how the teeth are affecting a child’s bite, and what if any problem might be present in the bone structure of the jaw itself. When it comes to the health of a child’s bite or jaw, the golden rule is that the earlier a problem is taken care of the better. Issues that are dealt with too late can cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw joint itself.
Visit a Certified Professional Dental Expert Today
Dr. Petra Schubert is an exceptionally well-reviewed dentist specializing in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. She operates out of the Dallas, Texas area, and can help you with any of your orthodontics-based questions or needs. If you want the very best in orthodontics, then schedule an appointment, Dr. Schubert, to see how she can better assist you.