As parents, we all want to do the very best for our children. Most of us know when our children need medical assistance… but when it comes to orthodontic issues it can be much harder to know when treatment is required.
Most young people don’t need to have orthodontic treatment until they have a full set of adult teeth, usually once they turn twelve or thirteen. However, in some cases it may be deemed helpful for a child to have treatment before this. If you have concerns, it’s never too early to talk to an orthodontist.
In most cases, children tend to be referred to an orthodontist by their usual dentist. So long as you are taking them to regular appointments they should be put forward for any treatment they need.
If you do want to keep an eye on their teeth yourself, here are some signs to look out for:
- Unusual timing for losing baby teeth; has your child lost baby teeth before the age of five? Or do they still have some after they’ve turned fourteen?
- Prolonged thumb sucking; did your child continue to suck their thumb after school age?
- Overcrowding in the mouth; do all your child’s teeth look like they have enough space?
- A pronounced overbite or underbite; how well do your child’s lower and upper jaw match up?
- Overlapping teeth; are your child’s teeth in more-or-less of a straight line, or do some overlap?
- Difficulty eating; does your child struggle with chewing or biting?
- Speech impediments; does your child speak with a lisp?
- Protruding teeth; do your child’s teeth stick out instead of sitting straight?
If you have any concerns at all about your child’s teeth, it may be worth talking them over with a qualified professional. Read more about what happens at an ortho consultation.