Parents often wait until their child has lost all their baby teeth to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. Some people believe orthodontics is a purely aesthetic treatment and that it is not necessary.
However, most dental professionals recommend that parents bring their child in for an initial exam at a young age. If your child doesn’t see an orthodontist for an evaluation, they may not get the dental care they need and could develop severe conditions beyond just a crooked smile.
Why Orthodontic Care Is Important in Early Childhood
Early diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic issues can save children a great deal of time and money. Many parents don’t realize that early treatment can be crucial to a successful outcome. Children who show signs of future orthodontic issues should see a dentist or orthodontist by age seven.
Many patients who wear headgear at home can improve their underbite with the help of a bionator. At the same time, children with severe overbites may benefit from a retainer-like appliance called a bionator. This device helps grow teeth in the correct position, making it much easier to treat alignment problems with braces or clear aligners.
The Risks of Neglected Orthodontic Treatment
There are several reasons parents should not dismiss orthodontic treatment for their children—even if some side effects are immediate. Other conditions may develop or worsen over time.
Improper Bite Formation
The incorrect alignment of teeth often causes poor bite formation. When this happens, the teeth don’t fit together properly, leading to more serious issues with jaw function.
An off-center smile can be unattractive and have lasting consequences for children. Poor dental alignment can harm self-esteem, causing problems with social and professional relationships and opportunities. In addition, gaps caused by crooked teeth can continue to shift and worsen over time.
Jaw Tension, Pain, or Surgery
Jaw problems can occur when teeth are crooked, or the jaw is not properly aligned. This can create tension and pain in the jaw, which may worsen over time. Some people may need surgery to correct the problem and relieve chronic pain.
Higher Chance of Future Orthodontic Issues
Children with crooked smiles will have greater difficulty chewing and opening their mouths, leading to hard-to-fix issues with the rest of the mouth later. This can also happen if parents choose not to treat the problem until their child has lost all their baby teeth.
Future Dental Problems
Children who don’t get orthodontic care will likely have more experienced problems with their teeth if they have any. This is because the dental work could have gone unnoticed without the orthodontist’s help.
Early identification of orthodontic issues is critical to preventing more serious problems. By age seven, it’s important to see an orthodontist prevent serious alignment issues. Addressing issues early will make the treatment process more efficient and less invasive. No matter the patient’s age, misaligned teeth should not be ignored—as this can lead to more severe complications down the road.
Solarte Orthodontics is a family orthodontics office committed to delivering the highest quality dental care with the latest state-of-the-art technology. If you are an adult looking to straighten your smile, there are many orthodontic treatments for that. Our office assists patients of all ages, guaranteeing a better and healthier smile for you! Get in touch with us to book an appointment with one of our family orthodontists in Manassas!