How to Know If Your Child Needs Orthodontics

How to Know If Your Child Needs Orthodontics
Posted on 07/26/2018
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Parents often come to me asking about the best time to have their children evaluated for orthodontic treatment. The challenge is, and as a parent you already know this,  every kid is different. However, a good milestone is around their seventh birthday, when a child’s jaw is developed enough, and he or she has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to tell if there are any current issues... or if there will be any that may come up down the line.

We orthodontists talk a lot about early treatment because there are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child, including shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. That’s because, when an orthodontist evaluates a child early enough, they can minimize crowding to make room for teeth that have yet to come in, help to guide jaw growth and work to correct the results of habits like thumb sucking before they turn into larger orthodontic issues.

That aside, there are signs that you, as the parent, can look for that will help you to identify the right time for a visit to the orthodontist:

   Particularly early or late loss of baby teeth

   Difficulty chewing or biting into food

   Grinding and/or clenching of teeth

   Mouth breathing

   Thumb or other finger sucking

   Teeth that look crowded in the mouth

   Jaw shifts or jaw noises like popping

   Protruding teeth

   Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all

   Jaw and teeth that do not appear to be proportionate to your child’s face


Do some of these signs look familiar to you?

Keep in mind that these signs do not guarantee that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation may be a good idea. The best way to find out if your child is an ideal candidate for early treatment (sometimes called Phase 1) is to meet with an experienced orthodontist, such as myself, Dr. Eileen Raywood. I will have been in practice 30 years this September. I’ve seen it all and know how to get your children the smile they’ve always wanted.



Here at Raywood Orthodontics our goal is always to develop the best treatment plan possible for your child! If your child is exhibiting any of the above signs, click below for a complimentary consultation at either of our 2 convenient locations: Muncie or Pendleton.


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