Are you unsure if your child needs to see an orthodontist and when you should schedule an appointment? Dr. Morrow and our team have compiled a list of common early warning signs of orthodontic issues and answered some frequently asked questions to help you determine if it’s time to seek treatment.
Some common early warning signs of orthodontic problems in children that may prompt a parent to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist at York Mills Orthodontics include:
- Crowding: If there is not enough room for the teeth to align correctly, the teeth may become crowded and overlap.
- Open bites: When the upper and lower teeth do not meet when biting down, it is known as an open bite. This can cause problems with chewing and speaking.
- Deep bites: If the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth too much, it is called a deep bite. This can cause issues with the lower jaw and may lead to jaw pain.
- Misalignment (malocclusion): Misalignment can refer to a variety of issues, such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. These problems can cause difficulty with chewing and speaking and may lead to jaw pain.
If you notice any of these issues in your child or have concerns about oral health, it is important to consult an orthodontist. By age 7, enough permanent teeth have erupted that an orthodontist can determine if any issues need correction. Early intervention can often lead to more effective treatment and better outcomes for your child’s oral health.
How do I know my child needs to see an orthodontist?
It’s crucial to be aware of any potential signs of orthodontic issues in your child, as early intervention can often lead to more effective treatment. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your child, it’s a good idea to consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist at York Mills Orthodontics:
- Finger sucking or other oral habits
- Early or late loss of primary (baby) teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Speech problems
- Upper and lower jaws that don’t line up properly
- Teeth that stick out too far or are misplaced, crowded, or blocked-out
- Jaws that shift or make sounds when moving
- Biting the roof of the mouth or cheek
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
An orthodontist will be able to assess your child’s dental development and determine if any issues need to be addressed. With early intervention, it may be possible to create a customized treatment plan to address your child’s specific needs.
What does an orthodontist do?
An orthodontist is a trained dental professional who can diagnose and treat issues with the teeth and jaw, including the misalignment of the jaw, crowded or improperly spaced teeth, and bite problems such as overbites or underbites. They use various fixed and removable dental devices, such as braces, bands, Invisalign clear aligners, and retainers, to adjust the position of the teeth and improve oral health. If you or your child are considering orthodontic treatment, it is essential to see an orthodontist as soon as possible if you notice any issues with the teeth or jaw, or if there are problems with chewing, eating, or speaking.
Children should generally be seen for an initial assessment by age 7 when enough permanent teeth have erupted to allow for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Orthodontic treatment can benefit people of all ages, and with early intervention, many issues can be corrected before they become more serious.
What will happen during my child’s initial orthodontic assessment?
At York Mills Orthodontics, we use a two-phase approach to orthodontic treatment, starting with an early assessment and intervention. Our orthodontists will evaluate whether your child has an orthodontic issue and determine the appropriate treatment, such as palatal expansion, braces, or Invisalign. We can explain the treatment process in a way that is easy for kids to understand and help them feel more comfortable with the idea of getting braces or using a dental device. We also believe that orthodontic treatment can promote overall well-being, not just in the mouth and airways. We can assess individual risk factors and needs and work to establish an overall balance of dental-facial health while addressing your child’s specific issues.
Are you wondering if your child has an orthodontic issue that needs correcting? Contact York Mills Orthodontics today to book an appointment for an initial assessment. We work with families all over North York and can determine if your child requires early intervention.