In many cases, parents are surprised when a pediatric dentist recommends their child see an orthodontist, especially when this recommendation comes at an early age. Even though parents usually associate orthodontic care with braces, there are far more reasons why your child may have to see an orthodontist for care. These highly trained professionals specialize in straightening teeth for sure, but their services are far more in depth than just helping patients obtain a straight smile. Here are a few reasons why your child may be referred to an orthodontist that have little to do with getting braces.
Your child may need further examination to monitor incoming teeth.
As your child's permanent teeth start to grow and erupt through the gum line, it is the perfect time for an orthodontist to start monitoring the situation. In many cases, if the teeth coming in are under a close watch by a trained eye, problems with growth and alignment an be tackled early on to prevent later need for extractions or even braces. This treatment is especially important for children who may have an offset or narrow jaw, which will prevent the teeth from coming into place as they should.
Your child may be losing their deciduous teeth too soon.
The initial set of teeth, usually referred to as baby teeth, your child gets normally do not start to come out until they reach the age of about six-years-old. If your child's teeth start to come out earlier, it usually means that their permanent teeth are showing up much sooner than usual. This is a situation that an orthodontist needs to be involved in because children who lose their deciduous teeth too early are often more prone to irregularities in the shape and alignment of their smile, and sometimes these early teeth are also more prone to decay.
Your child's teeth are overcrowded.
If your child's teeth are crowded together, which can be the result of everything from genetics to not extracting baby teeth soon enough, it can lead to a whole host of issues. Crowded teeth can make it nearly impossible to brush and floss enough to keep the spaces between these teeth clean. Crowded teeth can also cause issues with speech and eating in severe cases. Even before the age when braces would be recommended, which is different for each child, there may be things the orthodontist can do to alleviate the issue.
For more information, contact local professionals like Waterford Dental.