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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mark Feinberg


What Can Go Wrong at an Early Age? As a parent, you may believe that you can look at your child and see if there is a problem with their bite. If the problem is very obvious, than perhaps it will be possible. However, in most instances it is prudent to rely on the trained eyes of a specialist to detect a problem. And this is why it is important for a child to see an orthodontist for an exam.

Here are some of the possible problems that can go wrong at an early age:

  • Thumb-sucking

  • Difficulty with chewing and/or biting

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • Teeth that are crowded, misplaced, or have been blocked out

  • Upper and lower teeth that do not meet properly

  • Improper jaw alignment

  • Impacted teeth

  • Crossbites

  • Severe crowding, with stripping of the teeth through the gum tissue

  • Tongue thrusting and grinding or clenching of teeth

Missing problems early may also limit treatment options and require a more complex and involved treatment approach over an unnecessary extended period of time. So, timing is everything even in Orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by an orthodontist no later than age 7. Dr. Feinberg recommends bringing your child in for a visit as early as age 5 if there are signs of an airway issue like snoring. Oftentimes, this could be an indication of a breathing problem. Bringing your child to the orthodontist at an early age gives you the best head start on identifying and addressing any problems, so your child can have a healthy, beautiful smile! As you can see, there is quite a bit that can go wrong, even at an early age. The best way to provide yourself with peace of mind, and your child with a great smile, is to schedule a visit with our office for an evaluation. The majority of children don’t require early treatment until at least the age of 9.

However, it’s vitally important to catch problems early so they can be corrected more easily and will not lead to more complicated problems as time goes on. Typically, this will involve a device like a jaw expander or other similar device. If your child does require early orthodontic intervention, it is very rare that braces will be required at this time. As a skilled and experienced orthodontic specialist, Dr. Feinberg will only recommend “limited” braces if your child will truly benefit from this approach. Unfortunately, there are too many instances of very young patients getting braces for no justifiable reason other than poor clinical judgment on the part of the clinician. The orthodontic literature does not support such an approach and sadly it occurs to frequently.

A referral by your general dentist is not necessary to be seen for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at Feinberg Orthodontics. Be proactive and feel free to contact our office to schedule a visit with us. If your child does not require early interceptive treatment, Dr Mark Feinberg will continue to monitor your child’s dental and growth development in our complimentary supervisory program to determine the OPTIMAL time to start treatment, based on your child’s individual needs.

Please give us a call or email us. We will take it from there!

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