beecroft orthodontics

Children’s Orthodontic Check-up Guide

How often should Children get a Check-up to see if they Need Braces?

The American Board of Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontics recommend a child is seen around 7 years old to determine if he needs braces.

Not that most children have problems or issues at that age–I would say over 90 percent don’t, but, occasionally, something will pop up, so it’s a good idea to be seen.

I often then hear, “Once that happens, and my child doesn’t need intervention, how often should we come back?” Usually the office will provide direction, and there’s a range depending on the child’s situation. Most offices, if there’s nothing wrong would still like to see a child back about once a year, maybe nine to 12 months. Why? Even though everything looks great as of now, things may pop up. A tooth may decide not to come in the way it should or start to overlap another tooth inside the bone. There may be certain procedures that can prevent future problems. There may be a growth spurt in either the upper or lower jaw that causes an unfavorable situation that can be corrected more easily when the child is younger. So, that’s the reason for the periodic checks. Usually they don’t have to be conducted any more often than nine to 12 months, as long as everything is looking good and normal.

Now, depending on your child’s age, the orthodontist may suggest he’s seen more frequently. If the child’s closer to getting ready for treatment (10, 11, 12 years old), and waiting for a few baby teeth to fall out, the orthodontist may recommend he comes in every six to eight months. If there’s a borderline problem that’s being observed closely, he may be asked to come in every six months or so. Usually the visits will be quick and short, but productive. There’s usually a reason for being seen at such short interval.

I saw a 9-year-old boy, who was referred to us by his dentist. His dentist was concerned about his back six-year molar coming in, almost overlapping, and coming into one of his baby teeth. This was creating a hole in his baby teeth because the molar wasn’t coming in the right position, but a closer than where it needed to be. So, we saw him and didn’t have to put any appliances in his mouth. We put in a spacer apparatus, which almost looks like a rubber band. It’s wedged in between the teeth and creates space, but feels like there’s a piece of food like steak in between your teeth. Normally orthodontists use it prior to the initial banding appointment, getting the braces on. It’s used to make space for fitting bands on the back teeth. It can often be used to redirect teeth when they’re coming in at an unfavorable angle. We used this for the patient and chose to see him more often–every six weeks to ensure the tooth was coming in okay. We did that for three or four visits, and saw him regularly for six months. We just observed the tooth and ensured the situation didn’t get worse. We were able to redirect the permanent tooth and save the baby tooth. The results? After six months, the tooth was in a great position, and now he’s seen once a year until he’s ready for the full treatment. So, this is a situation where you’re seen more frequently. But in most cases, children are seen anywhere from nine to 12 months.

For further information or to schedule an appointment for your child, feel free to contact Beecroft Orthodontics.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg ,

Virginia Phone: 540-898-2200

Children’s Orthodontic Check-up Guide

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