When should a child first see an orthodontist?

As a parent, you may be wondering when should my child see an orthodontist. While your instinct may be to wait until your child is older, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic exam by age seven. Assessing your child’s bite early can help us identify potential problems as their teeth develop, and intervene to prevent dental issues later on. Find out how interceptive orthodontics from Black Orthodontics can give your child a happier, healthier smile for life. Schedule your free smile assessment today!

Benefits of early orthodontic visits

There are many benefits to early orthodontic treatment. Interceptive orthodontics for kids helps us detect invisible issues during jaw and tooth development and allows us to fix serious dental problems before they begin. Early orthodontic visits for your child can:

  • Guide jaw development
  • Improve unhealthy oral habits 
  • Align permanent teeth into position
  • Decrease the risk of of injury to protruded teeth
  • Enhance appearance

young boy wearing braces happily

Signs a child may need an orthodontic exam

While some orthodontic issues are not easily detectable, there are some specific signs and behaviors that indicate whether your child should visit an orthodontist. Here are some symptoms that parents should watch out for during early development:

  • Losing baby teeth early or late
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking
  • Crowded, protruding, or blocked-out teeth
  • Large gaps between teeth 
  • Issues with chewing or biting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Popping sound in the jaw bone
  • Difficulty speaking 
  • Biting the inside of the cheek
  • Abnormal jaw position

If your child has any of these symptoms, it may be time to take your child to the orthodontist. Contact Black Orthodontics to schedule a free smile assessment today. 

What are orthodontists looking for during a first exam?

During your child’s first exam, Dr. Black will begin by giving your child’s teeth a visual inspection. Then we will take a digital scan of your child’s teeth and jaw to identify any potential problems. This digital scan is not invasive and only takes a couple of seconds to complete. After Dr. Black analyzes these scans, he will discuss the results with you and help determine the right treatment for your child. Here are some things that Dr. Black will be looking for during your child’s first exam:

  • Irregularities in tooth loss or eruption
  • Crowded or spaced out teeth
  • Overbites, underbites, or crossbites
  • Jaw misalignments

In addition to a first complimentary exam, our Growth and Guidance Program offers check-ins every 6 to 12 months at no cost to you. During these check-ins, we will monitor your child’s development and let you know when (and if) they are ready for orthodontic care. We also educate your child to have better oral health habits. To find out how orthodontic treatment can benefit your child, schedule a free smile assessment with Black Orthodontics today!

Little cute girl holding a toy duck in her hands

What if a child does not need orthodontic treatment?

The majority of children do not need interceptive treatment. Once your child has had their first exam and Dr. Black does not see any underlying problems, he will recommend a follow-up visit one year later. However, it’s important to continue monitoring your child’s oral development to make sure that there are no progressive dental issues on the horizon. Dr. Black is conservative with his approach to early orthodontics and will only recommend treatment when absolutely vital.

Orthodontics for kids in Asheville, NC

As a parent, you want the best for your child’s health. Taking your child to the orthodontist at an early age can help set them on a journey towards lifelong dental health. Early treatment is less invasive and fixes problems before they begin, so your child can enjoy the perks of a healthier bite. Our Growth and Guidance Program includes exams every 6-12 months at no cost to you, so we can monitor your child’s growth and determine whether they need early treatment. Plus, we help your child establish good habits to maintain their beautiful smile. It’s never too early to set your child on a path towards a healthy and happy smile. Dr. Black has been crafting beautiful smiles across Asheville, NC for more than 30 years. Discover why so many parents trust Black Orthodontics with their child’s treatment.

Schedule a free virtual or in-person smile assessment today!