On average, most children will be ready for an orthodontic examination once their first permanent molars have erupted into the mouth. This may vary from six to eight years of age. Your child may not need treatment for several years, but you will learn what the future may bring and can make a long-term plan.
Here are some signs you might want to look out for as your child develops their permanent teeth:
- Their teeth aren’t straight and meet in an abnormal bite
- They have crowding as the permanent teeth erupt
- Either their top or bottom jaws appear too small or too large
- They have difficulty chewing or biting their food
- They may experience biting of their cheeks or lips while chewing
- They have an irregular loss of baby teeth (either too early or too late)
- They are having problems with speech
Although your family dentist may advise you to take your child to an orthodontist, you do not need a referral from your dentist to make an appointment.