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Toddlers should be seen by their family dentist around the age of twelve months. Any issues or concerns at that time can be addressed and questions answered. At around the age of seven, children should see an orthodontist for a thorough exam and evaluation that will be beneficial to assess their teeth straightening needs.

It is difficult for a parent to look into their child’s mouth and upon seeing a tooth they believe is coming in “crooked” to jump to the conclusion their child will need braces. However, if teeth are actually crooked the likelihood of braces is there.

What are the reasons to have your child be seen by an orthodontist at age seven when treatment would probably not be initiated for a few more years. Preparation and education allow for parents and the child to know exactly what to expect during the upcoming years.

A panoramic dental x-ray allows your orthodontist to see the potential problems your child may be facing. There are several reasons why teeth may not be coming in straight. Very often this is due to overcrowding … too many teeth for the allotted jaw space pushes teeth outward or inward. Early intervention such as a palatal expander or removing unneeded deciduous teeth may allow remaining teeth to emerge correctly.

Very often some type of early intervention may mean the difference between requiring dental bracesand having perfectly aligned teeth.

It is critically important to correct your child’s dental malocclusion. If teeth are not properly aligned, the potential for dental decay increases. Problems with grinding and clenching can occur.

Are there signs that are helpful in determining the need for early orthodontic attention? Absolutely … Does your child have any kind of speech problem like lisping or difficulty pronouncing some sounds? Have you noticed your child has a problem chewing or swallowing? Does your child continue to thumb suck? These are just a few of the conditions that might indicate the need for help.

Straight teeth will aid in overall excellent dental health, but in addition your child will be rewarded with a beautiful smile. This is important for self-image and self-confidence.

For more information or to schedule your child’s evaluation, contact our skilled team at San Antonio Orthodontics today.