When Should Your Child First Visit the Orthodontist?

April 2, 2013
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Most people associate orthodontic care and braces with being a teenager, but there is no reason to wait until your child reaches adolescence to get them the treatment they need. Orthodontists see very young children frequently. Most orthodontists recommend that children have a check-up by the time they are seven, or earlier if the need for treatment is apparent. Here are some signs your child could benefit from even earlier treatment:

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Jaw Popping
If you notice that your child’s jaw pops when they open it, there is a good chance that they have some kind of alignment issue that should be corrected by an orthodontist. Identifying these problems early in life may make orthodontic treatment easier.

Obvious Bite Issues
Orthodontists are experts at diagnosing even very minor bite issues that you may not have detected. However, sometimes children have malocclusions, or bite problems, that are very noticeable to parents. If your child has an obvious overbite, underbite, cross bite, or upper tooth protrusion, let an orthodontist help you decide what the next step should be. This is another instance in which early treatment can translate into more effective, less invasive care. If bite issues are addressed when your child is young, they may not need braces later on.

Speech Problems
Malocclusions are at the root of many speech problems . As soon as you notice a pattern of speech issues, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. Even minor tooth adjustments can make a big difference in speech. Getting your child to see an orthodontist early can save them from years of being self-conscious about their speech issues in the classroom.

If in doubt about whether your child needs orthodontic care, play it safe and schedule a visit. At the Park Avenue orthodontist office of Dr. David Seligman, we see patients of all ages and are equipped to treat even very young patients. Call Seligman Orthodontics today at (646) 681-8516 and make an appointment.

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