Set the Foundation for Your Child’s Healthy Smile
Taking your child to see our children’s orthodontist in Kansas City, Liberty, and Raymore, MO, doesn’t necessarily mean they need treatment. In fact, parents are usually relieved to learn that early orthodontics is not about putting on braces, it’s about setting your child up for a lifetime of optimal oral health, which is affected by the proper alignment and symmetry of their smile, jaw, and face. Your child’s early evaluation with our orthodontist is not simply for aesthetics but will help guide the growth and development of their jaw and teeth – preventing more serious problems later. Most importantly, we love having fun and want to make sure your child’s time with us is enjoyable.
When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation occur by age seven – the time when adult teeth are erupting. At Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we evaluate erupting teeth to detect issues such as a possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. We can tell if your child will benefit from early treatment, as many potential problems may not be visibly apparent until prevention is too late. Beginning treatment at this optimal time not only ensures the greatest result but also means less time and expense down the road.
How Braces Work
Signs That Your Child Needs an Orthodontic Assessment
Treatment at this early stage may not even be necessary. However, it is especially important to schedule a screening with our orthodontist if you notice any of the following conditions in your child:
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting food
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Jaws that “pop” when opening and closing
- Misaligned teeth that close abnormally or without touching
- Jaws and teeth that are not in proportion to the rest of the face
What Is the Benefit of Early Treatment?
While parents don’t need to rush into obtaining braces for their young children, some oral health issues can be avoided with early screening and treatment, including:
- Open bites – when the upper and lower teeth are unable to physically touch each other when the jaws are closed
- Crossbites – when the two rows of teeth don’t meet correctly. A misaligned bite can cause tooth decay, gum disease, stress on the jaw muscles, headaches, and more
- Speech impediments
- Injury to protruding teeth