Children should have an orthodontic screening by the time they are seven, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. While not all children need orthodontic treatment, early interventions can help guide the growth of the jaw and reduce the extent of later treatment.

Taking your kids to the orthodontist can be a positive experience for the both of you. At your child’s first orthodontic appointment, the dentist will examine their teeth and bite. Even though your child’s baby teeth might look straight, not all bite problems are obvious. Some symptoms that could indicate the presence of a bite problem, such as:

• Losing baby teeth earlier or later than usual
• Thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting
• Teeth that meet abnormally
• Grinding or clenching teeth
• Difficulty speaking or eating
• An imbalanced facial appearance
• Crowded or misplaced teeth

Next, the dentist will determine the best course of action. While some children may benefit from conventional braces, others might need other types of orthodontic appliances. Special orthodontic treatments can be used to expand the palate and guide the growth of the jaw to allow for easier treatment with braces later. Call your dentist today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with your kid’s orthodontist.

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