Should I schedule an orthodontic appointment for my child?

That’s a question most parents will ask themselves as their kids grow, but waiting until they are out of elementary school could cause orthodontic and dental problems later in life.

Many families opt for early orthodontic care, which gives children a better chance to have healthy and attractive smiles in their teenage years and beyond.

The American Association of Orthodontists reports children should be screened no later than age 7. A screening should also be scheduled if serious dental or jaw problems appear before age 7.

Why age 7?

Because that’s when adult molars begin to appear and the child’s backbite is formed. A screening at age 7 does not mean treatment will be needed right away, but it allows orthodontists to monitor children and predict when treatment may be necessary.

With offices in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, Dr. Roger A. Grace and Dr. Brodie L. Bowman provide screenings for children to steer them on the road to long-term health and sparkling smiles.

If problems are detected, care and treatment can start during the time children are growing. Such early care may no longer be available once the jaw and face have stopped maturing.

Doctors Grace and Bowman work with children and their parents to reduce the risk of teeth fracture or surgery when kids get older.

Some signs that your child should visit an orthodontist are:

  • Loss of baby teeth too early, or later than expected.
  • Sucking of the thumb or fingers.
  • Speech impediments or difficulty speaking with ease.
  • Problems with biting or chewing food.
  • Biting the tongue, or cheek.

Early screening and treatment benefit children in many ways, from establishing self-esteem and confidence to better overall health.

A recent study reported children with unsightly teeth are more likely to face bullying – with 50 percent of children claiming they were picked on because of the bad condition of their teeth.

Early screening for orthodontic problems can have a positive impact on your child’s life.

Contact Dr. Bowman to schedule a screening for your child.