Orthodontics for Children – Tucson AZ
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All children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven, or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician. An early evaluation allows us to determine when a child’s particular problem should be treated. In many patients, early treatment provides results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing.
It is often difficult for a parent to determine if treatment is indicated. There may be serious orthodontic problems even though the front teeth look straight. Some problems that look intimidating and complex are easily treated. Asking your general dentist is a good place to start, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is all we do. The initial examination only takes a few minutes and is complimentary.
To check for early signs of orthodontic problems, look at your child’s teeth. If you see crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth or overlapped teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Ask your child to bite all the way down, keeping their lips open.
- Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom?
- Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth?
- Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth?
- Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth?
If you see any of these conditions an orthodontist should evaluate your child.
Look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any mal-alignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem.
Other common signs include:
- Early or late loss of primary teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking habits beyond age 5
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that don’t seem to meet in a normal matter, or don’t meet at all
These are only some of the more obvious signs. Other signs may be much more subtle and require a trained professional to detect.