7 and up
February 16th, 2021
Did you know that in addition to getting her Doctorate in Dental Medicine, Dr. Hughes attained a Masters in Education? Her love of teaching and educating her patients is important and that is why we are starting a new awareness campaign called 7 and up. Lakewood Park Orthodontics is committed to the overall health and wellness of your children and we feel that this information is vital. According the American Association of Orthodontists, children should start seeing an orthodontist for evaluations no later than age seven.
While this may sound young, some children can significantly benefit from early intervention with orthodontic treatment. Dr. Hughes can detect subtle problems early on to determine the best time to start orthodontic treatment. This ensures in some cases less time in braces as a teen, possible prevention of surgery or extraction of permanent teeth and developing the best smile possible. You can rest assured that Dr. Hughes is known to be conservative in treatment and would only treat your child with early orthodontic care if necessary so as to prevent serious bite problems that can affect jaw growth and tooth development.
Here are the main eight problems that Dr. Hughes will evaluate for to determine if early treatment is needed. This list is supported by the American Association of Orthodontists:
- Crossbite of the front teeth: can lead to gum recession and enamel loss
- Crossbite of the back teeth: Can lead to asymmetric jaw growth and significant wear of teeth
- Severe crowding: Can lead to early loss of a baby teeth or significant challenges in proper brushing. In some cases early care can eliminate the need to extract adult teeth as a teen
- Open bite: Often due to finger habits (thumb sucking or tongue habits) can lead to improper jaw growth, tooth development, speech issues and chewing difficulties.
- Protruding front teeth: Can increase the risk of trauma, tooth loss and fractured front teeth
- Ectopic Eruption: This is the improper eruption of a permanent tooth which can lead to impactions (requiring surgery) or early loss of baby teeth causing a more challenging and lengthy time in braces as a teen
- Underbite: A very difficult bite to correct but critical that it is treated around age 7 as this is the time the child is most amenable to growth modification. Believe it or not, by age 10, it is already too late in many cases to successfully treat!
- Spacing: In some cases, significant spacing can be due to extra or missing teeth. This subtle problem can often only be detected by an orthodontic evaluation and a panoramic x-ray
Getting an evaluation starting at age seven can help Dr. Hughes nurture your child’s best smile as well as help improve things like self-esteem and overall dental health. So remember, 7 and up is when we would like to evaluate your child to give them their best and healthiest smile that lasts a lifetime!