Did you know that every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation at each periodic dental exam to assess his/her dental and jaw growth and development? As early and frequent as this may seem, it’s vital to properly manage tooth eruption patterns, occlusion, and spacing or crowding issues.
It is important to monitor growth and development so an orthodontic referral can be given at the appropriate time if necessary. Some orthodontic issues can be treated when a child’s jaws still has growth potential.
When Dr. Christine has to pull a baby tooth, we always place a spacer. Baby teeth act as placeholders and guides for developing permanent teeth. If a tooth is lost or pulled too early, the adult tooth underneath may not erupt properly. Space maintainers preserve the area between the other teeth, so that they do not drift inward and block the adult tooth underneath.
At each exam, we also perform an orthodontic evaluation of your child’s bite. If abnormal biting patterns or jaw growth is a concern, Dr. Christine may need to refer your child to an orthodontist for follow up.
Some of the most common concerns that we look out for include:
- Loss of space because of premature tooth loss
- Bite irregularities caused by extended thumb sucking or pacifier use
- Crossbites, underbites, open bites, and significant overjets and overbites
- Inadequate growth of the jaws
- Crowding and spacing
Help With Habits
If your child is still sucking their thumb, a pacifier, or using a sippy cup at an older age, it can impact the way their teeth erupt.
Dr. Christine is happy to help you with making a game plan to “kick the habit” so that situations don’t get any worse.
Find out if your child is going to need braces or not by scheduling an orthodontic evaluation at Redmond Ridge Pediatric Dentistry. We’re Redmond’s only board-certified children’s oral health specialist!
Children friendly sedation options are also available should your child feel nervous about their appointment.