When Should My Child Have Their First Orthodontic Visit?

Many of us on the Varallo Orthodontics team are parents. So when we say we understand the need for kids to get proper orthodontic care, we mean it. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontist appointment at age 7. But why 7? Indeed that’s not an arbitrary calculation. It’s not unusual to imagine tweens or teens in braces, but kids? They’re going to lose all their teeth anyway. Varallo Orthodontics has many patients who are children. We have the experience to help you navigate through when your child should have their first orthodontic visit.

Troublesome Teeth

Like grown-ups, children can have troublesome teeth that need orthodontic attention. If your child’s teeth sprout at an angle, they can be hard to brush. Your kiddo will likewise have trouble squeezing floss in between overcrowded teeth. Teeth that can’t be properly cared for can develop plaque or tooth decay. Unaddressed for too long, this might result in pain or tooth loss. 

Sprout and Fall Out 

Babies need teeth so that they can transition to solid food. And kids must lose their baby teeth to make room for grown-up teeth. But baby teeth aren’t just stand-ins. Did you know that baby teeth tend to fall out in a particular order? It’s true. If your child’s teeth fall out contrary to this order, that could indicate a more severe problem. By age 7, your little one should have two to four adult incisors and at least four permanent molars. If you see more or less adult teeth, seek orthodontic care. 

When Should My Child Have Their First Orthodontic Visit?Crossing the Line

We hope our kids’ teeth grow in the correct shape and the proper direction. But sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Often, teeth grow in irregular patterns. You might hear Dr. Varallo use the term “misalignment.” An orthodontist can identify misaligned teeth. But you might not know if your child doesn’t see one. 

Three’s a Crowd

Have you ever seen two houses that were way too close together? It’s a wonder the neighbors can even breathe. Well, teeth can be similar. It’s normal for teeth to have a tiny bit of space between them. Being positioned like this helps them break apart food in the most optimal way possible. Little gaps also make teeth easier to clean (especially floss). Complications with baby teeth can lead to “crowding.” Crowding happens when too many teeth occupy too little space. 

Bites That are Bad to the Bone

A single tooth out of position is not a big deal for most kids. But today’s little problem could become tomorrow’s big deal. Maladapted teeth can cause complications with your child’s bite. You might hear Dr. Varallo refer to issues like these as “malocclusions.” He will use this word to describe how your teeth set when your mouth is closed. 

Some examples of malocclusion include: 

  • Open bite: when you close your mouth, some of your teeth remain open
  • Crowded teeth: the teeth don’t have enough space between them or don’t have room to erupt
  • Overbite: the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much
  • Underbite: when you close your mouth, the lower teeth sets in front of the upper teeth 
  • Crossbite: parts of the upper and lower teeth intersect and/or overlap

When Should My Child Have Their First Orthodontic Visit?

Schedule Your Child for A Visit at Varallo Orthodontics

Now that you know when and why your child should have their first orthodontic visit, all that remains is where they should have it. Visit Varallo Orthodontics here to schedule a free consult.