Having a perfect set of healthy teeth is an asset, playing a crucial role in our everyday living. Our teeth do not only help us in chewing and digesting our food; they also help us in speaking confidently and clearly. Our smile influences our careers, relationships, and social lives. A perfect set of healthy teeth improves our physical appearance, acquires a positive mindset, and improves our oral health and overall body. It is crucial to observe dental hygiene and maintain it because of its myriad of life-changing benefits.

Good oral health reduces the risk of diseases linked to poor oral health, such as tooth decay, gum disease, cancer, dementia, and diabetes. Studies have shown that 65,000 women undergoing the menopausal stage with records of gum disease are at high risk of developing cancer, specifically breast, lung, gallbladder, skin, and esophageal cancer. Subsequently, there is a seventy-percent less probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease if an individual has healthy gums.

As the quote states, a smile symbolizes light in your soul’s window. Having healthy teeth is linked to having a great smile. Thus, it would be best if you give significance and attention to your child’s oral health at a young age.

When Should a Child First See an Orthodontist?

Children should see their orthodontists and conduct their foremost check-up not later than seven years old. Seven years is the optimal age for seeking orthodontic evaluation. A seven-year-old child contains a set of baby teeth and adequate permanent teeth to show the relationship and the proper development between bite, teeth, and jaw. Despite having baby teeth, orthodontists will foresee malocclusions or orthodontic problems in these early stages, specifically bite issues, crowding of the tooth, dental problems due to the habit of thumb-sucking. 

Orthodontists help in improving not just the appearance but also the health of children. They will pinpoint and correct potential problems in their adult teeth —setting up a proper treatment plan serving as an early intervention that will be most suited for the child.  


The Importance of X-Rays

Panoramic and Cephalometric  X-rays are done during the first evaluation or as the proper treatment comes nearer. At present, X-ray machines are digital and have minimal radiation when presenting an image rather than machines in the past. During the child’s first evaluation, it is essential to have an accurate diagnosis of the orthodontic problems through X-rays. X-rays play a vital role in overseeing orthodontic problems and proper treatment to achieve a perfect set of healthy teeth. It prevents having misaligned teeth and makes sure that the lower and upper teeth are straight and ideally work together. 


The Role of Interceptive Treatment

Interceptive treatment serves as an early intervention for the child. Interceptive treatment aims to manipulate the growth and have proper treatment of orthodontic problems. At the age of seven, children should seek an evaluation from an orthodontist as recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists. Phase one will start at the age of eight to ten years old. Phase two will start at the age of eleven or older. 

The interceptive treatment makes sure that the child’s jaw grows correctly, and the underbite as well. With the early treatment, permanent teeth will be able to develop appropriately.

Interceptive treatment is given to a child if he or she experiences the following:

  • If your child loses baby teeth either early or late
  • If your child experiences difficulty in chewing and biting
  • If your child experiences difficulty in breathing through the mouth
  • If your child experiences continuous thumb-sucking after five years old
  • If your child has impediments in his or her speech
  • If your child has protruding teeth
  • If your child has teeth that do not go together normally and evenly
  • If your child has a crowded front teeth at the age of seven to eight years old
  • If there is a shift with the crossbite of your child – You can observe this when your child opens and closes his or her mouth.

What Specific Dental Issues May Require Treatment?

Various dental issues that require treatment are the following:

  • If your child has overcrowding in his or her teeth
  • If your child has bite problems which are overbite and underbite
  • If the back of your child’s teeth is misaligned
  • If the upper and lower jaws are uneven and make sounds
  • If your child has a tooth that is protruding
  • If your child loses a baby tooth at an early stage
  • If your child experiences dental arches that are narrow due to thumb-sucking
  • If your child has an imbalance in his or her face
  • If your child experiences difficulty in speaking
  • If your child has blocked, crowded, and misplaced teeth

My Children Are Older than 7: What Should I Do?

If your child is older than eight years old, he or she should see an orthodontist to have an evaluation as soon as possible to determine the proper treatment for transitioning the child’s baby teeth and permanent teeth. An examination by an orthodontist guarantees the appropriate position of the baby and permanent teeth. Even if your child’s teeth look straight, possible problems regarding their bite may occur later on, so it is crucial to go to the orthodontist immediately.

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