Your 7- or 8-year-old may have only lost a handful of baby teeth. They may have just begun to brush their teeth independently or without constant supervision. Their teeth might look perfectly straight with plenty of room to grow. So, when their dentist recommends an orthodontic consultation, you may think, “Huh?” Believe it or not, that first visit with the orthodontist sets your child up for a healthy mouth, strong teeth, and a beautiful smile.
What an Orthodontic Consultation Reveals
Not everyone needs braces, but many people do and they need them starting in elementary school. Teens and braces are the typical pairing, but little kids who get early treatment – known as phase one or interceptive orthodontics – often have an easier time with orthodontics come middle school.
No matter what it “looks” like or “seems” like when it comes to your child’s teeth, there could be plenty going on under the surface that needs orthodontic attention. Here is what an orthodontic consultation will tell you:
- Crowding: The panoramic x-rays taken at a consultation reveal everything that’s happening under your child’s gums – including all the permanent teeth that have yet to erupt which could show crowded and twisted positions. The solution, however, can be as straightforward as a customized expander which opens the palate and makes room for what’s to come.
- Bite problems: A severe overjet, an open bite, or an underbite is an obvious problem, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent one. Getting bite issues diagnosed quickly prevents pain, oral health problems, and less intense orthodontic treatment in the future.
- Side effects of bad habits: Thumb sucking and use of a pacifier might calm a child when they’re a baby or toddler, but this habit – especially if it still exists – can affect appearance by pushing the teeth out unnaturally. This makes biting and chewing difficult, impacts speech, puts them at risk for mouth injury, and can make them feel self-conscious.
- Confirmation: You may not have believed your general dentist when they suggested your child see an orthodontist, but after x-rays and a consult, you may discover that your dentist is right. They have been looking at your child’s teeth and development for years – they know too when those teeth need a specialist.
- All is well: One of the best things parents can hear at an orthodontic consultation is that they don’t need to come back for a year or two. This might be the case for you and your child if they don’t need any interceptive orthodontics or are just a little ahead of being in the right place for a full course of braces.
Get an Orthodontic Consultation in Lawrenceville, NJ
If your child has any sort of misalignment or crowding, the early orthodontic consultation makes it possible to overcome these challenges before they become serious conditions that require surgery or tooth extraction. It’s important to remember that your Lawrenceville orthodontist will not recommend any treatment unless it’s beneficial to the patient. Contact Drs. Roberts & de Marsche to schedule a consultation.