For many of us, the biggest concern about our child’s teeth when they are growing up is “will they be healthy”. Until the adult teeth start to come through, we really have no idea what to expect in terms of their future smile. It could turn out that the teeth are lovely and straight, but for some children this isn’t the case.
Early detection of orthodontic problems can allow us to start simple treatments and begin alleviating crowding problems, and thus reduce potential future dental health issues. Harnessing growth changes can allow us to start jaw corrections; making any overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower teeth less prominent, or reversing problems where the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth.
The perfect time to start assessing a child for this is around the age of 8 years old. At this stage it is likely that the front incisors are fully in the mouth and the relationship between the upper and lower jaws are pretty obvious. Assessing children once their adult teeth have all come through is still acceptable, but often you are faced with more complex corrections which may include extraction of adult teeth.
As more of us are living longer, it would be nice to arm those future adults with a full set of teeth which not only help give good support to the face, but a healthy functioning bite and increased confidence to smile.