When Should You Consider Taking Your Child to an Orthodontist?

If your child is struggling to chew, speak, or otherwise function normally because their teeth are misaligned or crowded, it is time to visit an orthodontist. Sometimes your family dentist might refer your child to Los Gatos orthodontics for additional treatment. 

Otherwise, if your child is suffering from any symptoms impacting their ability to eat and speak normally, it is best that you consult with an orthodontist as soon as possible. An orthodontist will be able to provide information on what is causing the initial problem and how best to correct it. 

Here are common signs when you should consider taking your child to an orthodontist.

  1. Finger or thumb sucking

Finger or thumb sucking can be a relatively early symptom of an overbite or underbite. Sometimes it can also indicate a mouth breathing problem. A simple way to eliminate the problem is to snip the top four or five front teeth at the gum line. However, it is better to consult an orthodontist if the problem persists or has reoccurred. An orthodontist will be able to provide additional information on how to eliminate the problem.

  1. Chewing or biting problems

A misaligned jaw or crowded teeth can cause your child difficulty when eating and speaking. Chewing or biting problems can arise due to many reasons, including tooth decay, an overbite or underbite, poor teeth cleaning, and medical issues. An orthodontist can help by providing information on how best to eliminate the problem.

  1. Disproportionate jaws

When your child’s jaw is too big for their face, it is difficult for them to chew, speak and even breathe normally. This can be due to an overbite or underbite. Consult with an orthodontist as soon as possible.

  1. Clicking or shifting jaws

When your child’s jaw clicks shut, it indicates that their jaw joints are far apart – a condition known as Atlanto-Occlusal Dysfunction (AOD). It can only be treated by an orthodontist. An orthodontist can bring the jaws together and create a more normal bite.

  1. Bad posture

If your child’s teeth are misaligned, jaw joints are too far apart, or if their teeth are crowded, it can cause problems when seated at school or in a teacher’s class. Your child might avoid smiling or showing their teeth when they respond to a teacher. This avoids the embarrassment of their front teeth not being visible. Consult with an orthodontist because this problem can be easily corrected.