Let’s face it, not many of us enjoy being in the dentist’s chair even though it is one of those things we just have to do. Even more so, we really don’t like the idea of taking our children to the man in the mask with the noisy drill. But how do we know if our child needs to see an orthodontist or not?
There is considerable controversy within the field of dentistry concerning early orthodontic treatment for children, but most professionals agree that should problems be suspected, then children need to be attended to by the age of seven years.
Now the word -orthodontic’ means the correction of teeth irregularities. You don’t want to leave irregularities that your untrained eye thinks are slight, only to find they are affecting the development of your child’s jaw bone and his teeth. So keep an eye on those little munchers from the start and put your faith, and your child’s teeth, in the hands of these skilled and trained professionals.
Get a head start
Reputable orthodontists will not do anything that is not necessary. But getting a head start on any possible problems will save you money, time and discomfort for your youngster in the long run. Besides which, children heal very quickly so any procedures will also heal swiftly.
If there is a more noticeable defect regarding your child’s teeth he may well be teased or bullied by school mates and this can only open up an emotional wound too, causing low self-esteem and a general lack in confidence.
Parents shouldn’t dismiss their children’s crooked teeth as something that will necessarily rectify themselves with time. Even if it is just a few teeth that are crooked, you really should let the orthodontist take a look as crooked teeth can present a string of problems. Brushing and flossing are harder because of the lie of the teeth so this will undoubtedly lead to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria and once this sets in your child could face problems such as bad breath, cavities (which will obviously need filling), dark staining and even gum disease.
A link between crooked teeth and headaches?
It’s difficult to comprehend that crooked teeth can also lead to jaw stress, jaw aches and headaches. They will even make it more difficult to chew food and so if you have a lazy eater on your hands, then there is a chance they may develop digestion issues, too.
As you know your own body and any possible changes that may occur, it is imperative that you know your child’s too, and this includes his teeth.
Not only do you need to assess any crooked teeth that may have grown, but look for gaps between teeth too, overlapping teeth and an irregular bite. Get him to bite all the way down and see if his top row of teeth are in alignment with his lower row. Do the front teeth on the top jaw bone cover more than half of the bottom front teeth?
Look for protruding teeth, check that his top jaw does not shift to one or the other side over his lower jaw when he bites.
Watch him when he chews his food, is it difficult for him? Does he frequently bite into one of his cheeks?
These are very often the subtle little errors that could creep into your child’s mouth. Early detection and correction will save your child many tears down the line when more invasive work may then be deemed necessary. Don’t overlook any irregularities, no matter how insignificant you may think they are. We know what we know as parents, but we are not trained in the field of teeth so let those qualified in such matters take a look.