Even though our Fort Worth orthodontist, Dr. Barron, can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period in which to start orthodontic treatment.

Is your child showing signs of dental irregularities?

Are you wondering when the right time is for their first orthodontic visit?

Our practice agrees with the recommendation made by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that states all children should see an orthodontist by the age of 7 or at the first sign of orthodontic problems. This might seem early, but early detection of potential issues can prevent more serious problems down the line and make treatment easier and less costly.

Early Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontic Attention

It’s essential to observe your child’s oral development as they grow. Some signs that may indicate the need for an orthodontic consultation include difficulty in chewing or biting, mouth breathing, thumb sucking beyond age 5, overcrowded or misplaced teeth, and jaw misalignment. These symptoms don’t always mean your child will need braces or other interventions, but they are indicators that an orthodontic assessment could be beneficial.

There are a few signs to watch for which can tell you it’s time for your child to see an orthodontist. For a full list of things to look for, see below:

  • Difficulty biting, chewing or speaking
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Inability to close the lips comfortably
  • A facial profile that seems unbalanced
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth
  • Jaws that make sounds or which shift
  • A thumb or finger sucking habit

If you notice any of these signs in your child, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us so Dr. Barron can provide your child with a thorough examination. It’s important to keep in mind that your child may not need to start treatment right away if a problem is detected.

When Your Child Should See An Orthodontist

An early evaluation allows the orthodontist to catch problems at a developmental stage when they might be easier to address. Some issues, such as jaw growth abnormalities, are best treated while the child is still growing. Early intervention can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth, reduce the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful oral habits, and improve appearance and self-esteem.

Understanding the Right Time for Treatment

Not all children who undergo an early evaluation will need immediate treatment. In many cases, this early visit is more about planning and monitoring the child’s growth and development. Orthodontists can determine the most advantageous time to begin treatment, which varies from one individual to another. Some might benefit from starting while they still have some baby teeth, while others may achieve the best results by waiting until more or all of their permanent teeth have come in.

What to Expect During Your Child’s First Visit

Your child’s first visit to an orthodontist will be a comprehensive evaluation to assess whether they will need any treatment. The orthodontist will examine your child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw to identify any potential issues. They may also take X-rays or make models of your child’s teeth to better understand their alignment and bite. This initial consultation is also a great opportunity for you and your child to ask questions and express any concerns you might have.

The Role of Parents in Early Orthodontic Care

As a parent, your role in early orthodontic care is crucial. Encourage good oral hygiene habits at home and make sure your child understands the importance of dental care. Regular dental check-ups and following through with orthodontic appointments are vital steps in maintaining your child’s oral health. Being supportive and positive about orthodontic care can help ease any anxieties your child might have about visiting the orthodontist.

Orthodontic Options for Children

Generally speaking, most kids begin active treatment between the ages of 9 and 14. However, if we determine that your child could benefit from early treatment with braces in Fort Worth, we will help make the time spent in treatment a pleasant and even fun time. Our practice has worked hard to create a loving and personable environment, which we feel is key to a comfortable & efficient orthodontic journey toward a life-long healthy and beautiful smile.

Today, there are various orthodontic treatment options available for children, ranging from traditional braces to more discreet alternatives like clear aligners, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the patient. Your orthodontist will discuss the most suitable options for your child based on their unique case.

If you’re looking for professional guidance on your child’s orthodontic health, Ahava Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX, is here to help. With a commitment to personalized care and the latest treatment options, we are dedicated to ensuring your child’s smile is both healthy and beautiful. Schedule a consultation today to take the first step towards a lifetime of smiles.