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Is It Time for Your Child’s First Orthodontic Visit?

It may come as a surprise to you that orthodontic treatments aren’t only for adults. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that your child should have his or her first orthodontic examination by the age of 7.

The importance of early treatment can be clearly understood from its many benefits such as ensuring space for normal eruption of permanent teeth, positively influencing jaw growth to attain a balanced bite, eliminating potentially risky oral habits such as thumb sucking, teeth straightening and enhanced appearance of teeth which can boost your child’s self-esteem, correcting speech problems and eliminating or reducing the need for complicated orthodontic treatments or surgeries at a later stage in life.

Mentioned below are some of the most common situations which indicate that it’s time you consider an orthodontist who offers comprehensive solutions in orthodontics for kids. These solutions may comprise braces for kids, aligners, retainers, etc.

  • Timely loss of your child’s baby teeth is important for normal eruption of adult teeth in an appropriate manner. The normal loss of baby teeth starts around the age of 6-7 and generally stops around age 12. So, if your child is losing his or her teeth much earlier or later than around the normal age, it may indicate an underlying orthodontic problem. A visit to an experienced orthodontist is recommended in such situations.
  • If your child is experiencing difficulty in chewing or biting it may be indicative of a problem in his or her teeth or jaws. For instance, your child has to shift jaw in order to chew properly or often complains about sore teeth and gums while chewing. Such cases also require an orthodontic checkup.
  • A majority of kids fall into the habit of sucking their thumbs because they see it as an alternative to using their bottles. However, most of these children do fall out of the habit of thumb sucking during their toddler years, between the age of 2 and 4. But, some children may continue the habit as they often find it calming and comforting. If your child still has the habit of thumb sucking when the permanent teeth have started erupting it may result in protruding upper teeth, crowded lower front teeth and slight speech problems such as lisping. If you feel you have tried practically everything such as gentle reminders, distraction with a substitute activity, positive reinforcement etc., its time you consider orthodontics for kids so as to ensure that this habit doesn’t result in other orthodontic issues.
  • If your child’s permanent teeth are erupting in an irregular manner and are growing crooked, it may cause discomfort or make your child conscious about his or her smile. So, crowded, misplaced, blocked-out or protruding teeth are all a reason good enough to visit a children’s orthodontist.
  • Conditions like open bite, overbite, underbite, crossbite create bite problems. These are mostly hereditary in nature. These result in unnecessary grinding and wearing down of your child’s teeth and in most cases, it can interfere with jaw development and in turn may contribute towards serious conditions like TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
  • You should also notice whether or not your child has the habit of clenching or grinding his or her teeth. This condition is termed as Bruxism and it not only gradually wears down the enamel of teeth but also puts excessive pressure on the bones and joints of jaws. This condition also calls for a visit to an orthodontist for kids, who may prescribe certain treatments for Bruxism.

Does your child suffer from any of the above listed conditions? Schedule an orthodontic appointment for your child – whether it is their first orthodontic visit, or if you have any orthodontic concerns for your child. Contact us at Putnam Orthodontics in Carmel or Briarcliff today. With two state-of-art orthodontic clinics in Briarcliff Manor as well as Carmel, at convenient locations, we offer the best services in orthodontics for kids. Call now.

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