It is not always easy to determine when your child needs to see an orthodontist for the first time. We get that. That’s why we want to give you some warning signs (red flags, if you will) to keep an eye out for.
The following 5 signs are meant to give you some guidance (we are not providing medical advice). Your child will need to see an orthodontist in order to determine the best course of treatment.
Our friendly orthodontist and team members in Alpharetta, GA really enjoy educating our patients (and their parents/caregivers/guardians) when it comes to orthodontics and properly taking care of the mouth and gums.
5 warning signs that may indicate it’s time for the first orthodontic visit
1 Changes in your child’s teeth and bite…misalignment, crowding, crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, protruding teeth. You and your child should do a visual examination of the mouth on a routine basis (maybe a couple of times per month). Have your child open his or mouth so you can look around. Then have your child close the mouth so you can visually examine the way the teeth fit together.
Make note of any changes you see— misalignment, crowding, crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, protruding teeth. If you or your child thinks that something that doesn’t look or feel “right,” call the orthodontist. It’s best to seek orthodontic treatment early on as opposed to waiting until the problem gets bigger (and more expensive, more invasive, more serious, etc).
When you see the orthodontist for the first time, take your notes with you so you can clearly explain what you’ve noticed over time. Your notes will help you explain things easier instead of trying to remember every detail.
2 Your child just turned 7 years old. The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Jeffrey Jordan recommend an initial orthodontic exam by/around age 7. Around the age of 7, common orthodontic issues (i.e. uneven bite, overcrowding, etc) become visible.
However, keep in mind that each child is different in terms of how the teeth erupt, the way the jaw forms, etc. So just understand that some kids start orthodontic treatment at 6 years of age, whereas others start at 10 years of age.
Some say that 10-14 years of age is the ideal time to start with orthodontic braces since the “head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more conducive to straightening (source: http://oralb.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/when-to-get-braces).”
After your child is evaluated by an orthodontist and if your child needs braces, your orthodontist will be able to determine which type of braces will be best.
3 Do you have questions about the quality of your child’s bite or the alignment (or misalignment) of the teeth? Do you have other questions or concerns pertaining to your child’s teeth that the pediatric dentist may not be able to answer? If you have any orthodontic-related questions and you live in/near Alpharetta, GA call us to schedule your first orthodontic appointment (underlined text links here: http://jwjordan.wpengine.com/your-first-visit/).
GREAT news…Dr. Jeffrey Jordan is accepting new patients!
He will be more than happy to speak with you and your child about orthodontics. During this first appointment, you can ask questions and voice your concerns about your child’s teeth. Dr. Jordan will give you expert advice and listen to the needs of you and your child.
At the conclusion of this appointment, you will have a better idea and understanding as to whether or not your child needs to start orthodontic treatment. So if you have any questions regarding orthodontics, call us to schedule an appointment.
4 Do you notice that your son or daughter is having trouble closing his or her lips comfortably? Is he or she biting the inside of the cheek on a consistent basis? Cheek biting and closing the mouth uncomfortably are signs that something may not be right in your child’s mouth. There could be bite issues, misalignment problems, or jaw issues.
Take note of how often you notice these problems. Do they happen every once in a while or do they happen on a daily basis while he or she is trying to eat or talk? Write down some notes so you can better explain the problem to the orthodontist.
During your child’s first orthodontic visit, the orthodontist will listen to you and your child’s oral problems and concerns. He or she may do a visual examination to evaluate the bite and look at the inside of your child’s teeth. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled, if needed, so treatment can start and your child won’t have to experience pain or uncomfortableness any longer.
5 Keep a close eye on the (sometimes) not-so-noticeable signs that your son or daughter may need to see the orthodontist for the first time: mouth breathing, thumb sucking, problems with speaking/eating, clenching/grinding the teeth. Sometimes these issues aren’t necessarily noticeable on a day-to-day basis. However, keep an eye out for these things.
Take note of what you see over a month-long period—do they grind/clench their teeth on a consistent basis? Do they constantly breath through their mouth instead of the nose?
You may need to do a visual examination to determine grinding or clenching issues. Or you may notice that your child seems tense throughout the day, which may indicate that he or she clenches their teeth. Talk to the orthodontist if you suspect teeth grinding or clenching.
Observe your child on a routine basis to look out for mouth breathing, thumb sucking, and problems with speaking/eating. We’re not saying these things definitely indicate the need for orthodontic care, but we know that some patients exhibit these issues prior to starting treatment.
So just observe your child and if you think these issues may be causing orthodontic problems (or you’re afraid orthodontic issues may arise in the future from these things), call to schedule an appointment.
It’s always best to be safe than sorry—discuss your orthodontic concerns with an experienced orthodontist.
Orthodontic braces for kids, teens, and adults
Do you want to know if your child or teen needs to see an orthodontist? Wondering what age your child should see the orthodontist for the first time?
These are common questions from parents and caregivers. That’s why we wrote a blog post on this topic!
To read the informative blog post, click here.
And if you’re a teen or an adult who needs braces and you’re located in or around Alpharetta, GA, call Jeff Jordan Orthodontics. Dr. Jordan has a lot of experience fixing patient’s orthodontic problems. He is passionate about creating healthy, beautiful smiles for each patient.
So if you’re interested in Invisalign clear braces or other types of orthodontic braces, call us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Jordan will create a treatment plan customized for you or your child.