When is the best time to go to thedentist?
Thereis a still-ongoing debate amongst pediatric dentists whether a childshould have its first checkup and treatment already at the ages ofseven to nine, or somewhat later on (as it was up until now) at theage of 11+ year old.
Theearliest possible phase of treatment (a.k.a. Phase 1: at the age ofeight or nine), refers to straightening the front permanent teethwhich in turn creates more space for the other permanent teeth whichare yet to emerge. This kind of treatment reduces the likelihood ofextracting permanent teeth later on, if additional space is required.The treatment also takes care of any possible jaw-or-bite problemssuch as overbite, underbite, etc.
However,if the family dentist deems it attention-worthy, it may berecommended for a child to attend regular checkups even before theage of seven. One of the reasons to an early orthodontic interventionmay also be a speech pathology related one.
What are the earliestsigns?
Mostobviously, the first and foremost amongst the earliest of signs wouldbe: the appearance of crooked teeth, gaps between them or even overlapping.
Secondly,a child ought to be asked to bite all the way down whilst keeping thelips open. In case the front top teeth line up with the bottom teeth,the top protrude away from the bottom teeth, they cover more than 50%of the bottom teeth or are further-worse behindthem, the child is in need of some orthodontic attention.
Thethird guideline would involve checking the jaw's alignment. If thejaw shifts off center, or misalignments are present – it is a reasonenough to head to the dentist.
Amongst other common signs would be: early or late loss of primary teeth,difficulty in chewing or biting, mouth breathing, finger or thumbsucking habits past the age of five, speech difficulty, biting thecheek as well as protruding teeth or teeth thatdo not meet in a normal or, further-worse, any fashion at all.
Itis also important to note that the signs mentioned here are only amongst the most common ones, and that there is a number of lessobvious ones which are as good a reason to schedule anappointment as these are.
What'smore, these signs may be as subtle as to require a professional tonotice them, so scheduling a routine checkup isn't at all a bad ideaeven if everything gives off the appearance of an absolutely dandystate.