How to Determine If Your Child Will Need an Orthodontist

Braces are not just a teen rite of passage. Some children as young as 6 now need orthodontic care.

Dr. Jerek Petrous, a top orthodontist in Warren, Michigan, recommends that parents start looking at their children’s teeth within the first year. Dentists recommend bringing children in for an initial visit within six months of the first tooth erupting or by age 1.

Regularly scheduled dental visits are important. Dentists can determine if your child might need braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. As your doctor records the development of teeth, he or she might request that you make an appointment with an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in correcting misaligned teeth.

The appropriate age for braces varies from person to person. In extreme development issues, kids between the ages of 6 and 9 may need braces, according to Dr. Jerek Petrous. Because success is more predictable in a growing jaw, many issues can be fixed more easily before all of the adult teeth are present.

In most of his young patients in Warren, Michigan, Dr. Petrous suggests braces between the ages of 10 and 13, when all of the baby teeth have fallen out. Orthodontists commonly recommend braces for children 8 to14, but talking with an orthodontist early can help you get on the right path before painful problems develop.

Dr. Jerek Petrous notes a number of indicators for parents in Warren, Michigan, who might wonder if their children will need braces.

Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth all can lead to misaligned adult teeth. Children who have difficulty chewing may have bite alignment issues. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth can lead to decay and can be corrected with braces.

Dr. Petrous asks parents to pay attention to their kids’ jaws. Do they shift or make sounds? Orthodontists can alleviate problems like biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth and teeth that meet abnormally — or not at all.

Looking directly at your child, notice the  jaws and teeth. Are they out of proportion to the rest of the face?

Each of these signs is a reason to consult an orthodontist, like Dr. Jerek Petrous in Warren, Michigan. Develop a care plan, which might include traditional metal braces, with your orthodontist. Some young patients have benefited from less noticeable options like Invisalign, a clear aligner that makes adjustments over time.

Braces can bring a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime, but they also help children prevent health issues like tooth decay, digestive problems and heart disease as they get older. Dr. Jerek Petrous can get your son or daughter on track for a healthy future.