There’s no best age for your child’s first orthodontist appointment. As soon as their permanent teeth begin to grow, potential dental issues can emerge as well. 

Pinpointing and tackling a problem during this time when their mouths are rapidly growing can lead to faster, more effective treatment — while reducing the risk of more complicated, costly fixes down the line. It can also help prevent issues commonly associated with untreated orthodontic problems, like:

  • Those related to speech, chewing, or swallowing
  • A greater threat of cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
  • TMJ disorder, a painful jaw condition that can restrict normal movement
  • Permanent smile alterations
  • Impacts on a child’s self-confidence 

What Does a Pediatric Orthodontist Treat?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they reach 7 years old. This is the general age when adult teeth begin to replace lost baby teeth, so a pediatric orthodontist can spot developing problems, such as:

  • Jaw misalignment, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, and misplaced midlines
  • Tooth gaps and irregular spacing
  • Dental overcrowding and tooth overlap

These issues most often result from genetics. But accidents, premature loss of baby teeth, and habits like thumb sucking can also contribute to orthodontic problems. By intervening early, your pediatric orthodontist can coordinate a treatment plan that accommodates normal tooth growth, corrects for impending problems, and prevents future relapse.

How To Get Braces for Your Child

At your child’s first appointment, your pediatric orthodontist will examine their mouth, teeth, and jaw. They may also take X-rays and create a dental mold to identify potential problems and direct the right course of action.  

Pediatric braces are the most common approach to making the dental corrections that ensure your child’s oral health. Your orthodontist will explain the benefits and differences between options, such as:

  • Traditional stainless-steel braces
  • Clear ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces placed behind the teeth
  • Invisalign — a set of clear, removable aligners

Your child may also benefit from intervention options before or in place of pediatric braces, like temporary space maintainers, retainers, or expanders. We’ll discuss which treatments are most appropriate to develop a plan you’re confident in, understanding:

  • The expected length of your child’s orthodontic treatment
  • How often to visit the pediatric orthodontist for monitoring and adjustments
  • Ways to care for kids’ braces  
  • How much pediatric braces cost

Because untreated oral problems can significantly impact your child’s future health and dental needs, most dental insurance plans — including Medicaid — provide coverage for types of pediatric orthodontics. We’ll work with you to determine the most affordable plan to care for your child’s needs so they can put their best smile forward as they grow. 

Your Las Vegas Pediatric Orthodontist

It’s never too early to perfect your child’s smile — and the impacts go beyond greater self-esteem. Pediatric orthodontics can empower a lifetime of positive oral health and personal well-being. 

Since every smile is unique, only a kids’ orthodontist can identify your child’s specific dental problems, challenges, and solutions. Get in touch to schedule a consultation with our pediatric orthodontists in Las Vegas to start your child’s journey toward a healthier smile.