You’ve left the toddler tantrums far behind you and navigated your way through the early years of school. Before the middle years approach it’s time to think about teeth. Whether the tooth fairy is a regular visitor or a fly by night – a timely assessment is tipped by the Australian Orthodontics Association as the best approach to a perfect smile.
We asked Dr Eric Saacks to guide us through the benefits of early assessments so you can decide what’s right for your child. As a Port Macquarie resident with two children, Dr Saacks knows the importance of early treatment and correction.
When is the ideal age to visit Saacks Orthodontics on William Street?
Aged seven to ten is the optimal time to visit the orthodontist. Seven may seem too early to many parents, however, early treatment, if needed, can save you the cost of more complicated orthodontics later on. You may find your child’s teeth and jaw are fine in which case we’d encourage a second assessment in the early teens.
Why is early orthodontics important?
An early assessment gives the orthodontist plenty of time to evaluate your child’s existing and incoming teeth. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious problems from developing. Many children won’t require early intervention but it’s a good idea to screen children early and get them familiar with the process.
What signs should parents look out for?
There are eight signs and characteristics you should look for which may indicate early intervention would suit your child. These are:
1. Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
2. If your child’s teeth do not meet properly at all when biting (underbite or overbite)
3. Mouth breathing or snoring
4. If your child’s front teeth appear crowded
5. Protruding front teeth
6. Biting or chewing difficulties
7. If your child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
8. If your child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb or finger
What’s the biggest benefit of early intervention?
The biggest benefit for the child is avoiding more complicated treatment or surgery in the later teens. Early orthodontic treatment begins while a child’s jaw bones are still soft. As the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures work faster and more effectively than they do for teens and adults. Appropriate early treatment lays the foundation for a healthy and well-functioning mouth in adulthood.
What’s involved in an assessment?
The first assessment is free and if treatment is required we have 0% finance and payment plan options. Our team give you all the information you need to make the right decision at the right time and right price for your family. Our team will take x-rays and assess your child’s oral health. Your dentist may refer you, but referrals are not required. Give our friendly team a call and we’ll guide you through the next steps.