Orthodontics for Children
Advantages to Early Treatment
- Creates room for crowded, unerupted teeth
- Reduces risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserves space for unerupted teeth
- Reduces the need for tooth removal
- Reduces treatment time with braces
- Higher confidence level
Early Warning Signs Indicating it is Time for an Orthodontic Exam
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Finger sucking or other oral habits
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
When is the right time for an orthodontic check-up?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist at age 7. Even though most people think of preteens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner.
Why your child should get an orthodontic check-up at age 7
- Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you'll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.
- Dr. Rarrick can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
- While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
- The check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, Dr. Rarrick may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
- Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
- In some cases, Dr. Rarrick will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
- Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Improve the way lips meet
Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, Dr. Rarrick's goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.