Signs You Need To Be Referred To An Orthodontist For Your Child's Oral Health Needs

An orthodontist differs from a traditional dentist in the work they do. A traditional dentist treats you and your family in their regular dental care, such as removing teeth, filling cavities, and giving regular exams. An orthodontist specializes in the placement and position of the jaw and teeth. Children are often referred to orthodontists for getting braces, a dental procedure up to 75% of children can benefit from.

Most children are referred to an orthodontist for a consultation by age seven, and it's at this time that an orthodontist will examine a child's teeth and determine whether braces or other dental corrections are in their future. An orthodontist can treat a child for teeth crowding, teeth growing in incorrectly, and for the placement of the jaw. A jaw that extends too far forward on the bottom is called an underbite, while a jaw that extends too far forward on the top is called an overbite, both are conditions an orthodontist can treat.

Here are signs your child's dentist may look for to see if they need to be referred to an orthodontist. 

Your child has an overbite or underbite

An overbite or underbite affects the overall shape of your child's face, and can cause dental issues down the road. If your child looks like they are jutting their their teeth out in either direction or it looks like they are sucking in their cheeks or slouching their face from a side view, then an overbite or underbite may be to blame. Other bite conditions include a crossbite, which is when only the front teeth overlap.

An orthodontist can quickly identify the type of bite your child has and make corrections as needed, often via prescribing braces or by doing a jaw bone surgery. The results will be a healthier smile, a more natural appearance in your child's teeth placement, and even a more natural facial appearance as well.

Your child has crowding teeth

One of the biggest reasons for going to an orthodontist is the placement of your child's teeth. If your child has teeth coming in crooked, they have ample crowding in their teeth, there is too much spacing in their teeth, or they have other dental issues, then it's wise to ask for an orthodontic referral in order to help your child get the oral health care they need. Braces may be required in this situation.

For more information about your child's jaw and teeth placement, contact an orthodontist, such as those found at Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP, to schedule a consultation.