Posted on July 12, 2021
Most children have crooked and misshapen teeth, but we find it endearing. To look at a child’s mouth and see one lone tooth while they’re sipping on a juice box is the stuff that comedy and children’s movies are made of. While this is fine when they have baby teeth, as soon as their adult teeth start to come in you should reconsider how cute this is and wonder if a problem might be developing.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends you take your child to see an orthodontist starting at 7 years old. This is because by this age, it is easy to spot whether or not the child is developing tooth problems that would best be fixed by orthodontic intervention. Whether this is metal braces, an expander, rubber bands, or any combination of the above, it’s important to have an orthodontist take a look at your child and tell you if there is anything to be concerned about.
One of the main reasons to have your child sit through an orthodontist consultation is because it’s simply easier to begin treatment when they’re younger. Whether they start now or in a couple of years only yields a small percentage of difference. However, it’s simply much easier to fix these problems when the mouth and jaw are still developing and malleable, rather than 30 years down the road when everything is developed. By embracing the power of braces and orthodontic treatment at a young age, you’re setting your child up for a lifetime of growth and beauty in the right direction. Instead of having to amend things years down the road, start now and reap the benefits later.
One of the problems with trying to help children versus adults is that they can’t necessarily explain what’s wrong with them. They may be able to “use their words” in some sense, but they are not nearly as thorough as an adult in trying to describe what is happening in their mouth. A lot of the time, they are having common bite issues such as crossbite, underbite, or overbite. These may seem like small annoyances, but when you’re a child and trying to establish eating and drinking habits for life, it is fundamental that these be correct and not become maladaptive instead.
One of the most widely reported effects of braces on people is that it boosts their self-esteem and gives them a renewed sense of self-confidence. While your child may be one of the only people that has braces right now, this can be an excellent learning period for them. And when they finally enter middle school or high school, they will be well ahead of the game in terms of having amazingly straight teeth that their peers will be jealous of. By starting braces treatment now, you can put a jump start on their self-esteem and have them heading toward the right path.
Although it might seem like a stretch to consider braces for your child, nothing could be further from the truth. The American Association of Orthodontics would not recommend your child to visit the orthodontist if they thought it was unsafe in any way, and there are numerous anecdotes and personal testimonials from children that are glad they received quality orthodontic treatment at such a young age.
Instead of hemming and hawing about whether your child could actually benefit from braces or any other treatment, take them in for an appointment and see what’s what. In many cases, orthodontists will proclaim an “all clear” signal and tell you that there’s nothing to worry about yet. Otherwise, you can get a head start on giving your child the gift of wonderful teeth that will set them up for a lifetime of self-confidence and achievement. You owe it to your child to give them the best, so don’t delay in making that appointment!