Checking for Early Orthodontic Issues
Are you concerned that you should be checking for early orthodontic issues with your child? You’re not alone. Here are some of the issues that should be checked on by parents early on.
Checking for Early Orthodontic Issues | Jaw Issues
Certain problems can benefit from an earlier approach to orthodontics. Consider, for instance, the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. The upper jaw behaves like a door frame that accepts a door closing into it. If a patient had a small upper jaw which affected the way the lower jaw is able to close into it, the result would be that the patient would develop a cross bite. A unilateral cross bite is one example of a problem we may want to see prior to age seven because those patients can often be treated with a very simple appliance that can correct the width of the upper jaw and allow the lower jaw to re-center itself underneath the upper jaw and contribute to more favorable future growth.
Checking for Early Orthodontic Issues | Tongue Issues
Other patients we might like to see earlier include those who show signs of tongue dysfunction or patients who may have developed certain habits. Sometimes, an orthodontist can intervene by talking with these patients and help convince them to stop a finger habit, for example. If we recognize a tongue pattern problem and are unable to treat it ourselves, we may be able to refer the parent to someone who can appropriately take care of that problem.
Checking for Early Orthodontic Issues | Tongue Dysfunction
Very often, tongue dysfunction can slip through the cracks because, unless it is contributing to an educational deficiency, the school’s speech pathologist will not always want to identify a tongue thrust in that patient. In our practice, we feel that any age at which a parent suspects something wrong is a good age to bring the patient into the office and allow us to make a critical evaluation of anything that may contribute to a poor oral environment.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please call one of our five locations for a free screening with our excellent orthodontists.