When Is the Best Time to Visit the Orthodontist?

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Orthodontist?


You might think of the orthodontist as a place frequented by teens and young adults, but early orthodontics care can make an enormous difference in your child’s current and future oral health. In fact, early orthodontics interventions are so effective that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every child see an orthodontist by the age of 7. Here is what you should know.

Why Early Orthodontics?


You might think of the orthodontist as a place frequented by teens and young adults, but early orthodontics care can make an enormous difference in your child’s current and future oral health. In fact, early orthodontics interventions are so effective that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every child see an orthodontist by the age of 7. Here is what you should know.

Why Early Orthodontics?


In many cases, the baby teeth look straight and healthy, but there are problems when the adult teeth start to emerge. Tooth crowding, bite issues, and misalignment between the upper and lower jaw are just some of the more common challenges. By the time your child is 7, she will have enough permanent teeth for your orthodontist to evaluate the relationships between the teeth, jaw, and bite structure to look for potential issues.

Common Symptoms of Orthodontic Issues


While it is generally acceptable to wait until your child is 7, children who develop certain symptoms may need to be evaluated earlier. Ask your pediatric dentist whether an orthodontist referral is needed if your child experiences any of the following, regardless of age:

  • Very early or very late loss of baby teeth
  • Trouble chewing or biting
  • Frequent mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking past the age of 3
  • Noticeably crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Shifting or popping in the jaw
  • Trouble speaking clearly
  • Frequently bites the inside of the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that come together oddly or do not touch at all
  • Facial imbalance
  • Tooth grinding or clenching
  • Misaligned jaws

What to Expect


Your child’s first orthodontics appointment will begin with an introduction to the staff and a quick tour of the office. This helps to reduce nerves and makes both you and your child feel more comfortable. We will then provide a complete clinical exam, including photos of the oral structures as well as x-rays, and possibly dental impressions. Based on our findings, we will provide a diagnosis and take the time to discuss any issues we noticed.

We will then recommend a treatment plan and provide you with a detailed cost breakdown, including your projected out of pocket costs. We will review your options for financing, and provide a detailed description of any orthodontic devices your child needs. We will also explain how long treatment is expected to last and what the recommended appointment schedule will be.

In most cases, we will schedule a future appointment for your child to have any needed orthodontic appliance placed. At that appointment, we will teach you and your child to care for the appliance and provide instructions for altering her oral care routine while the appliance is in use. Follow-up appointments will allow us to check your child’s progress and make adjustments to the device or treatment plan if needed.

If you are in the San Ramon Valley, and are ready to start your journey with a highly experienced, compassionate, trustworthy orthodontist, we invite you to call Bigman Orthodontics today at (925) 735-1515 to schedule your initial evaluation.