During National Orthodontic Health Month- observed every October- many Lakeville, Savage and St. Paul orthodontists educate the public on types of braces, adult orthodontic treatment and other important issues.
This year, Cosmopolitan Orthodontics’ goal is educating parents on the importance of having their children screened by age 7, says orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who provides braces for adults and children.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7, when their teeth and jaws are developed enough for an orthodontist to see if any serious bite problems exist.
“Most children are not candidates for early treatment,” Bonvino says. “However, to determine whether your child is a candidate, it’s important that they be evaluated.”
Orthodontists are specialists who complete a two-year residency after dental school to learn to identify and treat bite and alignment problems.
“This evaluation is needed in addition to regular dental visits because it gives us time to watch your child’s development and determine the appropriate mode of treatment, if necessary,” she says.
Identifying problems early puts time on an orthodontist’s side. They can plan ahead and prevent more serious problems. Lots of malocclusions are more easily corrected when identified early.
There are some circumstances that warrant an even earlier visit, Bonvino says. If a child is a mouth breather, sucks his/her thumb or fingers, or uses a pacifier beyond about age 2 and it appears the child’s teeth are being affected, consider bringing him/her child in for an evaluation sooner.