Last month, DiMarzio Orthodontics discussed the benefits of two-phase treatment, and this month, we will continue talking about the importance of orthodontic care for your child by telling you why your child should see an orthodontist by age 8!
The Importance of Early Orthodontic Visit
You might wonder, “Why should children see an orthodontist so early? They’re just kids!” It’s a common question; you’re not alone in asking it. At DiMarzio Orthodontics, we believe in setting the foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles, and that starts with early orthodontic visits.
You might insist, “My child’s teeth look perfectly fine, so why bother?” It’s a valid question, but here’s the thing: not all orthodontic issues are visible to the untrained eye. Some concerns, like bite alignment or the potential for crowding, may not manifest until later, but an orthodontist can see the warning signs. By visiting an orthodontist early, you’re taking a proactive approach to your child’s dental health.
Imagine it like this: You wouldn’t hesitate to skip a well-child visit with the pediatrician just because your child feels fine, right? Similarly, an early orthodontic visit is a wellness check for your child’s developing mouth. It’s not just about spotting current issues; it’s about anticipating future ones. Though most children don’t need to start care right away, early assessments are essential to know if your child does need to begin care sooner rather than later.
The Difference Between Your Child’s Dentist And An Orthodontist
You might also wonder, “If my child comes to DiMarzio Orthodontics in Quincy to see an orthodontist, do they still need to visit the dentist?” The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why. While both orthodontists and dentists work on oral health, they focus on different aspects. A dentist is like your child’s general physician for their teeth, taking care of routine cleanings, fillings, and overall oral hygiene. They’re the ones who will spot cavities and help prevent gum disease. They might even refer you to an orthodontist!
On the other hand, orthodontists like Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak at DiMarzio Orthodontics specialize in the alignment of teeth and jaws. We’re the experts in diagnosing and treating issues like overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth, often using treatments like braces or Invisalign.
Think of it this way: your dentist ensures the ‘forest’ is healthy, while the orthodontist makes certain each ‘tree’ is in its proper place. Both roles are crucial for maintaining your child’s healthy, beautiful smile. So yes, please continue those regular dental check-ups alongside orthodontic visits for comprehensive oral care.
Signs Your Child Might Need To See An Orthodontist
While every child is different, there are some telltale signs that an orthodontic visit might be in order. And don’t worry; you don’t have to be a dental expert to spot all of them.
First, look at how your child’s teeth are coming in. Are they crowded or spaced too far apart? These could be early indicators of insufficient room in the mouth for proper tooth alignment. But it’s not just about the teeth; how your child bites can also be a clue. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are all issues that can benefit from early intervention. Poor bites could be a sign that your child needs treatment to improve their jaw placement.
And let’s not forget about oral hygiene. If your child finds cleaning specific areas of their mouth challenging or you notice recurring issues with plaque buildup, it could be due to misaligned teeth.
Benefits Of Early Treatment
It’s true that many orthodontic issues can be treated in the teen or adult years, but there are distinct advantages to tackling them early on.
- Simplicity. When orthodontic issues are addressed early, the treatment plans are often less complicated. Your child’s jaw and teeth are still growing, making them more malleable and easier to guide into the correct positions. This can result in shorter treatment times and less discomfort for your child.
- Cost-effectiveness. It might seem counterintuitive, but early treatment can actually save you and your child money in the long run by preventing the need for more complex and costly procedures down the line. Orthodontics is a financial and metaphorical investment in your child’s smile!
- Confidence. A well-aligned smile can do wonders for your child’s self-esteem. Kids are more likely to feel good about themselves when they like what they see in the mirror, and that confidence can spill over into other areas of life, from academics to social interactions.
- Oral Hygiene. Misaligned teeth can make cleaning difficult, leading to plaque buildup and, eventually, cavities or gum disease. Early treatment can help align teeth better, making it easier for your child to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Reduced Injury Risk. Protruding front teeth are more susceptible to injury, especially in active kids. Early treatment can correct this and reduce the risk of dental trauma.
- Speech. Believe it or not, the alignment of teeth can affect speech. Issues like spacing or misaligned teeth can lead to speech impediments. Early intervention can help improve speech development by correcting these issues.
Schedule Your Child’s Free Consultation With DiMarzio Orthodontics Today!
Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak have years of experience improving the smiles of patients of all ages, so you can feel confident that your child is getting the best possible care experience.
Give your child the gift of a lifetime of healthy, attractive teeth with DiMarzio Orthodontics! Call or click here to schedule their free consultation today!