Seeing an orthodontist is something that many parents don’t really think about until their children are approaching those pre-teen years. However, the recommended age for a child’s first orthodontist appointment is 7, and that means even when their mouths may still be majority baby teeth. It’s during this time that some adult teeth are beginning to make their way in, and your child’s dentist or orthodontist will be able to determine if issues with bite or jaw alignment are present. Visiting an orthodontist early on doesn’t mean that your child will certainly require braces or orthodontic treatment, but it ensures that if any problems do arise, they will be fixed promptly and permanently.
The whole goal of the first orthodontic appointment is to make the child feel comfortable while assessing the need for treatment, and if treatment is needed, what plan should be carried out. The orthodontist or staff may take the child on a short tour of the office, helping to place them at ease in a strange place, then take a few pictures and x-rays to get the appointment started in a gentle and comfortable way. If there is a problem shown in the x-rays or photos, the orthodontist may then have impressions made of the mouth in order to get a better look.
Your orthodontist will go over treatment plans with you and explain them in an easy to understand way for your child, helping to keep you both at ease while fully informed about any problems at hand and how you’re going to fix them together. Ceramic braces, Invisalign, or traditional braces may be discussed as possible solutions in your treatment plan. The most important thing to remember about your child’s first orthodontist appointment is that this is where a foundation of trust is built between the child and their orthodontist to show them that taking care of their teeth is not scary or something to be upset about.
To prepare your child for their first orthodontist appointment, sit with them and explain to them what they can expect on their visit. They will meet their orthodontist, have a checkup with some x-rays or pictures, maybe have a mold taken of their teeth, and discuss treatment plans to give them a healthy smile. By putting their minds at ease now about the experience, they can enjoy a fulfilling and healthy relationship with orthodontics to ensure their smile is a healthy one that shines forever.