As your child begins to lose their teeth and their permanent teeth start to emerge, it might be time to determine when and if your child will need orthodontic treatment. When is a good idea to set an appointment with an orthodontist? What are the signs? Orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean just braces. There are procedures and additional treatments to prepare your child for orthodontic treatment.

What Are the Signs? 

Orthodontic problems rarely resolve themselves, but you can make yourself aware of the signs that your child needs orthodontic treatment. Some issues are not as easily visible as gapped teeth or a crowded mouth and will require an orthodontist’s insight. 

Common signs:

  • Overly crowded teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Extra or Missing Teeth
  • Teeth that don’t meet
  • Thumb, Finger, or Pacifier sucking that is affecting growing teeth.

These things can be an immediate sign to set an appointment with Dr. Burke or Beckstrom. 

When should I Make an Appointment? 

Around age seven, your child’s first set of molars has begun to emerge along with some other permanent teeth. Once these teeth are fully grown, we can determine how their bite will develop. The goal during an evaluation is to detect potential issues and decide if preventative orthodontics will be necessary. 

Orthodontic treatments are usually less complicated, less expensive, and typically shorter than treatment as a teenager or an adult. Dr. Burke and Beckstrom recommend the first consultation at age seven. That might sound very early, but your child’s mouth is pliable and responsive to treatment at a younger age. 

Interceptive Treatment 

Early treatment is referred to as preventative treatment or phase one. When evaluating younger patients, the primary focus is fixing bad bites and ensuring that all teeth have appropriately emerged. Younger patients typically receive braces later; evaluations are usually plans for future treatments. Crossbites, over/under bites, and protrusive front teeth may require additional appliances to prepare the mouth for braces or to correct things before treatments that could adversely affect the straightening process. 

In Conclusion

Knowing when to schedule an appointment for your child may be challenging, but educating yourself can help navigate when it would be best. Look for signs of crowding and overbites as your child hits age six or seven. Braces are not always the first step in orthodontic treatment, and consulting with Dr. Burke or Dr. Beckstrom can help you plan future treatments. 

Contact Burke + Beckstrom Orthodontics in Saint George, Mesquite, or Cedar City to schedule an evaluation and discuss orthodontic treatment for your child.