Do I have to wait for the Dentist to send my child to the Orthodontist?
The simple answer to this question is NO. If you notice the permanent teeth are coming in crowded, with excessive space, the front teeth are protruded or retruded, the back or front upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth then you need to take your child to an Orthodontist.
You may assume the dentist is aware of these problems and that they will make the referral to an orthodontist but sometimes this does not occur. Dentists are often focused on the health of the teeth and gums. They look at how good the child’s brushing and flossing is and if there are cavities. They don’t often concentrate on how the teeth fit together (the bite). This is what Orthodontists specialize in doing.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends a consultation with an Orthodontist at age 7. As most poor bites start at this age. By examining a child at this age, the Orthodontist can diagnose many potentially damaging bite and jaw development conditions before they cause major problems. If treatment is necessary at this critical stage, then results can be dramatic.
The other reason for an examination of children at this age is the detection of Sleep Disorder Breathing or SDB. It is often the precursor to Sleep Apnea. Using our diagnostic criteria and ultra-low dose CBCT radiography, we can learn if a child has an upper airway disorder (think narrow airway) which could affect their ability to get enough oxygen so their brains and bodies can develop to their maximum potential. We use this radiograph for our orthodontic purposes but can also use it for airway analysis so the child gets the additional benefit without any additional radiation! As parents, we all want to give our children the best chance for success and without a big upper airway that is not possible.
As you can see, there are many benefits to examining a child early. Not all children will need orthodontic treatment at this stage but you don’t want to miss the opportunity this age of development offers. You don’t want to be saying “I wish we had of”
At the orthodontic office of Dr. Michael Sebastian, we are here to guide your child and family through this critical stage of development.