Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

When Should My Child Get Braces?

Young girl with purple glasses and braces smiling Grandville MI pediatric dentists

When Should My Child Get Braces?

Young girl with purple glasses and braces smiling Grandville MI pediatric dentists

As your child ages, the discussion about orthodontic intervention will come into play. Because every child is different, it can be hard to know exactly when or if braces are needed. Fortunately, our Grandville pediatric dentists can perform an oral examination and give you helpful advice on whether you should take your child to an orthodontist.

Here’s what you need to know about possible indications that braces are needed for your child and when to schedule an appointment with a trusted orthodontist.

Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontics

Each time you bring your child into our Grandville office for a routine six month visit, our pediatric dentists will examine their entire mouth and take note of how both their teeth and jaws are developing.

When an abnormality is found, such as a misaligned bite, we will discuss the finding with you and determine next steps. There are also several behaviors, that unlike our dentists, you can pick up on outside of the dental office that can indicate a need for orthodontic treatment. Common examples include prolonged thumbsucking or pacifier use.

Other signs that your child would benefit from orthodontics include:

  • Premature loss of baby teeth
  • Late loss of baby teeth
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Difficulty chewing, biting, or speaking
  • Excessive grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • A present crossbite, underbite, overbite, or open bite (where the top and bottom teeth don’t meet)

Recommended Age for Initial Orthodontic Exam

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children undergo an orthodontic evaluation around the time they turn 7 years old. At this age, your child will have a mixture of baby and permanent teeth so an orthodontist can see how they are all coming in and if any orthodontic problems are forming.

Now, if your child is older than 7 and has not yet been evaluated, it’s perfectly normal. While that age is a starting point for early intervention, children can still go in for a check-up if they are 8 or above. However, if more serious dental problems exist, it is best to have an orthodontist take a closer look sooner than later.

Our pediatric dentists can inform you of arising issues regarding your child’s oral health and offer necessary recommendations. Treatable problems are always better corrected while your child is younger so keep this in mind when considering whether to seek out an orthodontist.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Orthodontist Visit

The first visit to the orthodontist is all about observation and general discussion. The main objective centers around examining your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws.

During the appointment, you can expect that X-rays will be taken of your child’s mouth to give the orthodontist an idea of the issues at hand and how they can be remedied. Your child will also be asked to bite down so the orthodontist can see how the top and bottom teeth come together.

If orthodontic treatment is needed, you’ll be briefed on every detail so both you and your child know what to expect. Our pediatric dentists will work with the orthodontist throughout your child’s treatment to ensure their teeth are kept clean and healthy as corrections are made.

Let’s Discuss Your Child’s Smile

Have questions about whether or not your child is ready for braces? Our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, can take a look at their smile and make recommendations on whether you should consider orthodontic treatment for them. Call Grandville Pediatric Dentistry at (616) 531-3430 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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