Thursday, May 21, 2015

7 year-olds and EXTRA teeth; how seeing your orthodontist early can save the day! Or at least, save the smile.

If you haven't done it yet, and your child is at least 7, take them to the orthodontist.  Do it today.  You don't need to wait until the dentist says it's time.  Go now and rule out any unforeseen issues.  Chances are good that your child won't be ready for braces until age 12, but going to the orthodontist early, just might make a big difference in their dental future.

Recently we had a patient come in for a complimentary new patient exam. Her family had no issues with esthetics and her dentist didn't have any concerns.  Her parents were aware of some crowding and a slight overbite but they made the appointment because they had read somewhere that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child's first exam at age 7. Thank goodness they came.

Upon taking a set of photos and xrays, we identified a large growth between the roots of her upper front teeth.  It was an amorphous extra tooth, which if given enough time could have continued to grow and damage her front teeth potentially ruining her smile.  This would have never been caught had the family not come in early.

Over 80% of kids visiting the orthodontist at age 7 do not need any early orthodontic treatment. Those kids go into a complimentary observation program called our "Kids Cub Club" where they return annually for quick checks to make sure the teeth are erupting properly and jaws are growing appropriately. 

The other 20% of kids who could benefit from early intervention, usually require limited treatment (at a fraction of the cost) with long term benefits that lessen the complexity and cost of treatment later. Often through the use of expanders, retainers or temporary front braces, problems can be corrected early (usually in 6-12 months).
Take your kid to the orthodontist. It might make a big difference in their dental future and you have nothing to lose.