How do you know your child needs to visit an orthodontist, and when should you make an appointment? Our orthodontic team at Walt Orthodontics have highlighted some early warning signs parents should look out for, along with some answers to common concerns.

Orthodontic Issues

Many parents are unsure when their child needs to get an orthodontic check-up; after all, they may recall not seeing an orthodontist for assessment until they were close to their adolescent years themselves.

However, our knowledge of jaw growth and options for orthodontic treatment has vastly grown over recent years. It is now suggested by the CAO that children come in for an initial evaluation by the age of seven.

Around this time, enough permanent teeth have erupted for an orthodontist to identify whether any problems require intervention. Crowding, open bites, and deep bites can all be detected by the eruption of incisors. Examining the first molars allows an orthodontist to look for misalignment (malocclusion, or bad bite).

How do I know my child needs an orthodontic check-up?

You don’t always have to wait until your child is seven years old to see an orthodontist or come in for a check-up. If you observe any of these symptoms in your child, schedule an orthodontic consultation right away. We may be able to spot growing concerns and build a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs using an early intervention approach.

  1.   Oral habits such as thumb sucking
  2. Mouth breathing 
  3.   Early or late loss of their primary (baby) teeth
  4.   Speech issues
  5.   Misaligned upper and lower jaws
  6.   Teeth that protrude excessively
  7.   Missing, crowded, or obstructed teeth
  8.   Jaws that shift or make noises
  9.   Biting the roof of one’s mouth or the inside of one’s cheek

What exactly does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has received special training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and jaw abnormalities for an extra 2-3 years past dental school. They can improve present circumstances and detect potential problems. Children and adults are both eligible orthodontic patients.

The issues described above can be addressed with orthodontic treatment to enhance a patient’s bite and, as a result, their oral health.

With a healthy bite and aligned smile, your child can improve their ability to chew, eat, and speak appropriately. 

Orthodontists utilize permanent and removable dental appliances to adjust the position of teeth in the mouth. These appliances can include braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and retainers. They address dental anomalies such as:

  •   Malocclusion of the jaw
  •   Teeth that are crowded, crooked, or incorrectly spaced
  •   Bite issues (example: overbite or underbite)

For children with airway or speech challenges, seeing an orthodontist for an initial examination can assist start them and their parents on the path to resolving questions or concerns they may not have been able to previously resolve.


What happens during my child’s initial orthodontic evaluation?

At Walt Orthodontics, we approach treatment in two stages, beginning with an early orthodontic assessment and intervention.

After determining whether or not your child has an orthodontic problem and the nature of the problem, we will offer a diagnosis and propose a custom orthodontic treatment. Options can include palatal expansion, LightForce Braces, or Invisalign to improve jaw position or tooth alignment.

Our orthodontists, Dr. Walt and Dr. Grossman are happy to answer any questions. They deal with many kids and are used to making them feel at ease. They can explain orthodontic terms in a simple way and make your child feel more comfortable with getting braces or any other orthodontic appliance.

We strongly believe that orthodontics goes beyond just straightening teeth. It can improve oral health and overall health too. The benefits are abundant! 


Book Your Child’s Orthodontic Check-Up at Walt Orthodontics

Do you want to know if your child’s oral development is on the right track? Check-in with us for a free consultation with the Walt Orthodontics team! We are proud to create healthy and beautiful smiles in our Vaughan-Thornhill-Maple community! 

In-Person Consultation

Use our handy online scheduler below to choose the date and time that works best for your initial complimentary consultation appointment!

Alternatively, please contact our office directly by phone/text if you are trying to book multiple consultations at the same time or are seeking consultation further out than 12 weeks.

Please note – If none of the available times on our online scheduler work for you we do have other consultation times available. Please contact us directly for more information.

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