Four Big Reasons For Little Kids To See An Orthodontist
North American Precis Syndicate
Give your kids something to smile about: Have them see an orthodontist no later than age 7. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Although parents may assume that they must wait until a child has
all of his or her permanent teeth before seeing an orthodontist, the American
Association of Orthodontists (AAO) says that all children should get a
checkup with an orthodontist no later than age 7.
1. By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for orthodontists to
evaluate the bite, meaning the way teeth and jaws come together.
2. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a
problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
3. Early diagnosis allows the orthodontist to intervene at the best time
for the patient. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve
results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished
4. Undesirable growth in jaws cannot "ungrow." Improper tooth contact
wears away enamel. Lost tooth enamel doesn't come back.
An early orthodontic evaluation gives your child the best opportunity for
a healthy, beautiful smile. Treatment can guide jaw growth, lower the risk of
trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful habits that affect teeth and
supporting bone, and may improve appearance.
Why An Orthodontist?
Orthodontists, explained Nahid Maleki, D.D.S., M.S., president of the
American Association of Orthodontists, have more specific training than
general or pediatric dentists to identify subtle problems with jaw growth and
emerging teeth, even if baby teeth are present.
To become an orthodontist requires graduation from dental school followed
by two to three years of specialized education in orthodontics at an
accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists are uniquely
qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial
irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. All AAO members are
It's not necessary to have a referral from your dentist to see an
Problems to Watch for In Growing
Meanwhile, there are tooth troubles that parents themselves can be on the
lookout for. These include:
• Crossbite—bottom teeth in the back are outside the upper teeth
• Top teeth positioned behind bottom teeth
• Front teeth don't meet when back teeth are touching
• Top teeth that cover the lower teeth completely
• Protrusive upper jaws, upper teeth.
The most common outcome of an age 7 checkup is "let's wait and see" while
the face and jaws continue to grow. If treatment proves necessary, periodic
monitoring allows the orthodontist to suggest the appropriate treatment at
the appropriate time.
For further facts and advice, or to find nearby AAO orthodontists, go to www.aaoinfo.org.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)