I often get asked by parents when they should send their child to an orthodontist. Parents are often confused – hearing that orthodontic treatment can only be done once the adult teeth have erupted whilst also seeing that young children at school have often started some sort of orthodontic intervention – such as plates, expanders or even braces. So, when is the right time?
Many orthodontic problems become apparent around the age of 7 – therefore we recommend seeing an orthodontist then. Your orthodontist will be able to identify problems with the positioning of your child’s teeth or jaws. Many problems can be addressed at this age – it is often easier to time treatment with children’s growth. We believe in early intervention – by having orthodontic problems diagnosed and treated early, the overall treatment required in the teenage years will be simplified and shortened.
However, if treatment is not required, your orthodontist will regularly monitor the facial and dental development as they grow. Lastly, introducing your child to their orthodontist early will help them get comfortable with the staff and the environment so if any treatment is required in later years it will seem much more familiar.
Ronald is one of Peninsula Orthodontic’s oral health therapist.