Making the decision to go ahead with orthodontic treatment for your children is a big one. Orthodontics for children is all about establishing healthy growth development from an early age and setting them up for a beautiful and healthy smile for life. If you are unsure if your child is ready, or suitable for orthodontic treatment, your best bet is to seek the advice of an experienced orthodontist.
There is no exact age for children to start orthodontic treatment. The Australian Society of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists, as a general rule of thumb, recommends bringing your child to see the orthodontist around the age of seven.
At this age, most children have a combination of both baby and adult teeth. This is required for your orthodontic specialist to make an informed diagnosis.
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw encouraging permanent adult teeth to grow and mature straight
- Regulate the width of lower and upper arches
- Develop space for overcrowded teeth
- Avoid a need for tooth extraction later in life
- Correct bad oral habits like thumb-sucking and improve minor speech problems
For parents, it is not always easy to know when a child might require orthodontic treatment
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Trouble eating or chewing food
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Early/late loss of baby teeth
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Clicking or popping jaw when eating
- Teeth that close unevenly
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight