According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), in the U.S., approximately 3.9 million children are orthodontic patients. While many parents don’t prioritize a visit to an orthodontist, several significant problems are solved during these early visits. By the age of seven, an orthodontic specialist can notice any underlying issues, and they can guide the growth and formation of your child’s teeth. Read on to learn the signs that show you need to take your child to an orthodontic specialist.

1. Your Child Has A Misaligned Jaw

Under normal circumstances, the upper jaw is protruded compared to the lower jaw. So, if you notice signs of an upper bite (an extensive protrusion of the upper jaw), or an underbite (an excessive protrusion of the lower jaw), then it’s time to schedule a meeting with an orthodontic specialist. Luckily, when detected early, these irregularities can be corrected by an orthodontic specialist as the child’s teeth grow, hence reducing the need for extensive treatment when they are older.

2. You Notice Spacing Irregularities

If your child exhibits signs of overly crowded or significantly spaced teeth, you need to take them to see an orthodontist. Early detection will enable the orthodontist to look deeper into the cause and come up with the right treatment plan. If ignored, these conditions cause gum issues and may also lead to speech problems.

3. Early Loss of Baby Teeth

Whether your child loses their baby teeth accidentally or through removal, missing teeth can be disastrous. Without proper care, neighboring teeth might tip and fill in the gap, which later causes overcrowding or misalignment. However, an orthodontist specialist can put measures in place that will ensure normal development of the teeth.

4. If Your Child Constantly Breathes Through Their Mouth

If your child constantly breathes through their mouth, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontic specialist. Breathing through the mouth means that the child’s mouth is always open, and their tongue rarely sits on the roof of the mouth. This, in turn, causes abnormal facial growth with deformed jaws. With early intervention, however, an orthodontist can correct this habit.

5. Your Child Has Chewing Problems

If your child has difficulties chewing and keeps biting their tongue or cheeks, this indicates that their teeth are misaligned. Visit an orthodontist to determine and correct any underlying issues.

Taking your child to an orthodontist allows them to have their jaw and facial structure evaluated and corrected if need be. Stay on the lookout for these signs, and contact the friendly team at Nowlin Orthodontics if you notice any.