When Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

Orthodontic Treatment for Kids in Chicago, IL

Every child deserves to grow up with a great smile, and at Yummy Orthodontics, our mission is to help our patients achieve one. As a leading pediatric dentist and orthodontist serving Glenview and the greater Chicago area, we take a holistic approach to treatment, focusing on creating a great smile in the long-term. But it's important to start early in order to achieve that smile, and if you're wondering when you should bring your child in for an orthodontic treatment appointment, we're here to help. 

When Should My Child See the Orthodontist?

At a basic level, you should bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation anytime you think there might be something wrong with their smile or tooth alignment. For most patients, though, the initial orthodontic consultation should happen around age 7. 

By 7 years old, the back bite has established itself, allowing us to effectively evaluate tooth alignment and spot both current problems and problems that may appear later on. Based on this evaluation, your Chicago kids orthodontist will either choose to monitor your child's growth until the ideal time to start treatment or to intervene with early orthodontic treatment. 

Early Orthodontic Treatment in Glenview, IL

Early orthodontic treatment isn't necessary for all children, but there are some orthodontic problems that benefit from starting with treatment early on. Especially with malocclusions (bad bites) that stem from underlying jaw development problems, early orthodontic treatment allows us to guide the growth of the jaws to achieve a more ideal smile, limiting the amount of orthodontic treatment that's necessary overall. All children who receive early treatment will still need to wear braces or Invisalign Teen during adolescence, but the early treatment phase means we won't need to do as much tooth movement during the teenage years. 

Does My Child Need Early Treatment?

Every patient is different, and ultimately, only you and your pediatric orthodontist can decide on the best treatment plan. However, some malocclusions normally respond best to early treatment. These can include:

- Crossbite: This develops when the upper back teeth sit inside of the bottom teeth, potentially causing problems in jaw function. We can use palatal expansion to widen the upper jaw and correct crossbite. 
- Crowding: These issues occur when there isn't enough room in the dental arch to accommodate all of the teeth. Palatal expansion can help us widen the jaws and create more space for teeth to grow in straight. 
- Openbite: Often caused by tongue thrusting or thumb sucking, early treatment can help us prevent openbite by stopping the habits that bring it about. 

Outside of these specific orthodontic conditions, we may also use early orthodontic treatment for issues like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, prolonged thumb sucking, or abnormal baby teeth loss. No matter what the issue, though, the goal of early orthodontic treatment is to guide the development of the jaws and mouth in order to create the best possible smile in the end. 

Schedule a Consultation with Your Chicago, IL Kids Orthodontist

Early treatment can help your child achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile while drastically reducing the amount of time they'll need to spend in braces, and if you'd like to learn more about early orthodontics, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our practice or schedule a consultation for your child. We can't wait to hear from you!