Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children are seen by an orthodontist around age 7. The initial check-up with an orthodontist is intended to detect any developmental problems your child may have and determine if any interceptive (or early) orthodontic treatment is necessary. Potential issues caught early may save your child from more comprehensive orthodontic treatment in the future.
What to Expect at an Initial Pediatric Orthodontic Consultation?
The initial pediatric orthodontic consultation takes approximately one hour. We have worked hard to combine what normally takes three appointments into just one appointment.
Your child’s first visit will start with us giving you and your child a tour around our office. We will then take two x-rays and a series of photos of your child’s teeth. Dr. Maslowski or Dr. Michel will also do an examination of your child’s mouth and teeth and review the x-rays and photos taken. The doctor will go over any treatment recommendations with you and your child.
If your child is ready to start treatment, we can usually get them started with a scan that same day. Otherwise, we are happy to schedule the appointments for a different time that works well in your schedule.
What an Orthodontist Looks For:
There are several things an orthodontist will look for early on including:
- Baby teeth falling out early or late
- Extra or missing teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Unnatural spacing or teeth erupting out of place
- Teeth out of alignment, including crooked teeth or teeth that don’t meet when biting
A visit early on also allows us to check for constricted airways which can contribute to difficulty breathing, persistent snoring or grinding of the teeth.
If your child has jaws that are painful or harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking, it is also helpful to see an orthodontist.
What Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment is Done?
If any of the above issues are detected, the orthodontist may recommend starting interceptive orthodontic treatment. Pediatric orthodontic treatment does not always guarantee that your child will be getting traditional braces, many times the orthodontist will recommend a specific appliance that will move teeth, change the position of the jaw or hold teeth in place.
What if My Child isn’t Ready for Treatment?
If our doctors determine that your child isn’t quite ready for treatment, your child will be placed on observation. In the observation period, we will see your child every 6-12 months to monitor changes as they continue to grow. By doing so, we are able to get started with orthodontic treatment at the optimal time in your child’s growth pattern. All of these observation visits are done at no charge. No cost will be incurred until your child is ready for treatment.
If your child hasn’t seen an orthodontist yet, don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation. No dentist referral is needed. Call us at 920-231-4922 to schedule a visit!