Milly Hutchinson caught up with specialist orthodontists for their views on when parents should consider orthodontic treatment or advice for their children.
Although orthodontic treatment isn't often undertaken until most or all of the second teeth have come through, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child has an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. As a rule your child's paediatric or general dentist will check for symmetry and bite accordingly.
The main things to look out for include:
• Early or late loss of baby teeth
• Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
• Protruding teeth and upper and lower teeth that don’t meet
• Jaws that are too far forward or backwards
• Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
If you are concerned,there is no harm in seeing an orthodontist at an early age; they might suggest an x-ray to check on
the progress of the second teeth. Encourage children to give up thumb or finger sucking as the permanent teeth can be affected. You can also check that the upper new front teeth do not grow behind the lowers creating a crossbite.
When it comes to treatment, there are many different types of orthodontic appliances that could be used. Older children have the options of clear and coloured braces, as well as the state-of-the-art lingual braces which fit on the backs of the teeth.
Dr Joanna Johnson, Specialist in
paediatric dentistry, 76 Harley Street,
London W1G 7HH
020 7631 3276
Dr David McNulty, Orthodontist,
Richmond Hill Orthodontic Practice,
27 Friars Stile Road, Richmond, Surrey,
020 8940 6632
Dr Simon Manara, Specialist
orthodontist, London Orthodontics,
121 Harley Street, London W1G 6AX
0207 486 0088