Your Child’s First Orthodontist Visit
Taking your child into our dental office for routine teeth cleanings and general preventive care as they grow up does wonders for their overall oral health.
But when is the right time to consider taking their dental care to the next level by visiting the orthodontist for the first time?
Every child is different and there is no set age but it is generally recommended that your child have theirwhen they are at least 7 years old. Around this age, their mouth contains a mixture of baby and permanent teeth. This mixture is important as an orthodontist will be able to look at how their teeth are coming in and recognize early on if any orthodontic problems are forming.
Because it’s a new place, the orthodontist can seem intimidating or even unnecessary when your child is still so young. However, this first visit is important as it provides an opportunity to discover any dental issues that can be corrected through orthodontic treatment.
It’s natural to have plenty of questions going into your appointment and while the orthodontist is equipped to answer any question you may have that day, let’s tackle a few general ones now.
What if My Child is Older Than 7 Years Old?
Like previously explained, it is merely a recommendation that your child pay a visit to the orthodontist once they are 7 years old. If your child happens to be 8 or older, it is not too late for them to go in for a check-up.
Unless there is something of concern that you’d like addressed before the age of 7, it’s up to the discretion of our dentist and you on what is best for your child’s oral health. Some children go when they are 8 or 9 and some even go when they are in their teens.
There is no exact age when your child should see the orthodontist but remember that it’s always better if any treatable problems are caught and corrected when they are younger.
Will it Be Painful?
Not at all. The firstvisit is primarily about observation and discussion. You can expect that your child will be asked to sit in the dentist chair while the orthodontic assistant or technician takes pictures or even x-rays of their mouth and teeth.
It’s likely a mold may even be taken of the teeth to assist the orthodontist in deciding how exactly they can be straightened. The main objective of the appointment, however, will be to examine your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws.
The orthodontist will want to see how the teeth bite together after having your child open wide and will want to ask questions with regards to possible problems swallowing, chewing, and any clicking or popping of the jaw. A small mirror may also be used by the orthodontist to examine the teeth from all angles.
Initial observation will help the orthodontist plan out the best course of action that will result in a healthy smile for your child.
Are Photographs or X-rays Necessary?
Yes, photographs and x-rays are necessary for the orthodontist to take and subsequently analyze so a proper treatment plan can be developed. The process of obtaining these pictures or x-rays will not cause your child discomfort in any way and you may be able to remain present in the room to ease their nerves.
X-rays can also reveal to the orthodontist any problems that may not be apparent at first glance.
What Else Can I Expect for This Visit?
Once the orthodontist has finished their initial examination of your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws, they will sit down with you to discuss their proposed treatment plan more in depth. They will also be sure to inform our pediatric dentists of their recommended next steps so we are aware.
Every child’s treatment will be different so the orthodontist will take the time at the end of the visit to explain their findings to both you and your child. Generally, this is what you can expect from this discussion.
The devised treatment plan may include:
- The age at which your child should receive braces.
- Scheduling tooth removal if needed to create more space in your child’s mouth.
- How long your child should wear braces.
- Feelings or sensations your child may feel after the braces are put on.
Let’s Discuss What’s Next
It can feel like a big step for your child to start going to the orthodontist. Rest assured that whenever your child has their braces put on, our pediatric dentists and specialists in Hudsonville, MI, will continue to care for them in the best way possible.