Your child is nearing age 7, but he or she has yet to visit an orthodontist. As a parent, should you wait for your child’s dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist?
You don’t have to wait until a dentist gives you the green-light to bring your child to an orthodontist. Many parents notice gaps in their child’s teeth or perpetual crowding as baby teeth fall out and adult teeth begin to emerge. Some parents also notice improper bites and misalignments between the top teeth and lower teeth. Many children also have habits like sucking their thumb or thrusting their tongue while talking. These conditions often contribute to a speech impediment and an obstructed airway, which limits airflow, leading to further problematic conditions. If you notice any related symptoms or a condition in your child’s smile, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us! You do not need a referral to come in for a complimentary exam.
Dentists Vs. Orthodontists: What’s the difference?
Contrary to popular belief, dentists differ greatly from orthodontists in higher education, experience and overall focus. Your child’s dentist will not notice the same conditions your child’s orthodontist will.
Dentists and orthodontists both earn a bachelor’s degree as well as a 4 year degree in dentistry. Unlike dentists, orthodontists continue their education to complete a 2 to 3 year residency after dental school. In their residency, they gain invaluable, hands-on experience with real patient cases in addition to performing valuable orthodontic research for the profession.
Orthodontists are trained to detect conditions related to the jaw and the bite. They are the experts in growth and development. Orthodontists consider your entire appearance when assessing your orthodontic condition.
Dentists are trained in general dentistry: the maintenance of proper oral hygiene and the detection of cavities and gum disease.
Bringing your child to a dentist does not take the place of visiting an orthodontist. Your child should visit a dentist and an orthodontist regularly to ensure proper oral hygiene and a stable, healthy bite throughout the years.
By Age 7
Age 7 is the prime age to begin visits to the orthodontist. This doesn’t mean your child will begin orthodontic treatment at age 7; this means problematic conditions are detectable and often preventable at this time. During this time, baby teeth are falling out and permanent teeth are emerging and beginning to stabilize. Our orthodontists are trained to detect problematic conditions before they permanently stabilize. Early detection of conditions will save you money as well as saving your child the discomfort of more serious treatment measures. Early detection and treatment focuses on prevention of these more serious issues.
Why not monitor your child’s growth as early as possible? We offer free initial exams for all of our new patients. Don’t wait for your child’s dentist to refer you to an orthodontist. You may be missing out on the opportunity to treat your child’s smile during precious, formative years. Beginning orthodontic treatment or preventative-monitoring before your child’s permanent teeth have completely stabilized will establish a healthy, aligned foundation that makes your child smile their best smile for years to come!
Caudill & McNeight Orthodontics is dedicated to affordable orthodontics for all ages. We offer early braces, adult orthodontics, affordable braces, Invisalign®, clear braces and more at our Merritt Island, Viera and Melbourne locations!
Ready to begin you or your child’s orthodontic journey with a complimentary consultation? Request your exam today! If you need to schedule your next appointment, you can do so here. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.