39 E Colorado Ave, Frankfort, IL 60423 - (708) 789-9289
6305 W 95th St, 2nd Floor, Oak Lawn, IL 60453 - (708) 424-1300
9111 W. 151st St., Orland Park, IL 60462 - (708) 590-4422

Orthodontics – When is a good time for my child to see an orthodontist?

We hear it more and more frequently – “my friend has braces, will I need braces?” So when is a good time for kids to go see an orthodontist? Every patient is different! Our development is all on different tracks so there is not one correct answer. According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, a child should have their first orthodontic evaluation around age 7. This is a time when a child is transitioning between baby teeth and adult teeth and the mouth is still developing and can be a great time to start orthodontic treatments or simply have an evaluation to plan for the future! 

At Bite Size Pediatric Dentistry, we  take a panoramic image of a patient’s teeth when permanent molars and the front permanent teeth are erupting to check development of the teeth and underlying anatomy. In this image, we are able to check the bone of the jaw and the developing teeth below the surface. This shows us positioning of developing teeth that cannot be visually seen and also to determine if any extra teeth are present or if any teeth are missing. In both of these circumstances, we would refer the child to see an orthodontist for evaluation – that way the orthodontist can address these anomalies early and have a plan.

Excessive crowding when permanent teeth erupt is also an orthodontic issue that should be addressed. Orthodontists can plan to treat crowding while the jaw is still developing with Palatal Expanders – this is an appliance that can create room for the teeth to properly erupt and possibly eliminate further crowding as more teeth come in. Expanders are used to treat crossbites as well. A crossbite is a type of malocclusion where the top teeth and bottom teeth don’t meet in the correct position.

Open bites, underbites, overbites, excessive spacing between teeth or malocclusion due to thumb/finger/pacifier habits are other orthodontic issues that orthodontists like to evaluate – many times early orthodontic evaluation/treatment can help prevent future issues. 

While these are just a few of the reasons an orthodontic consultation can be suggested at an early age, there are many different situations and every patient is different in dental growth and development!

Our pediatric dentists at Bite Size Pediatric Dentistry in Frankfort, IL will examine your child’s bite or “occlusion” at their routine dental visits to address any potential orthodontic needs.

Have questions regarding your child’s need for orthodontics? Ask your dentist at your next dental check up 🙂


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