As a family practice, we at Southern Cross Dental carefully monitor the dental development of our pediatric patients. While we use the latest technology to predict where children’s permanent teeth will come in, biannual check-ups are chances for us to ensure the teeth they already have are comfortable and healthy. If we see a problem, we can refer them for orthodontic work, although we’ll remain an important part of each child’s health team.
We’ll ask children to close their teeth together and whether they’ve experienced any pain while chewing or when they wake up. This will help us to establish whether they have an issue with misaligned teeth (also known as malocclusions) or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). If they have TMJD, they may be clenching their jaws subconsciously or grinding their teeth in their sleep. This would result in distinctive wear patterns in their enamel and could further exacerbate malocclusions.
Although the wisdom teeth usually do not erupt until late adolescence, orthodontic work is usually done during late childhood and early adolescence. This is because children’s jawbones have not solidified as much and more extensive orthodontic work can be done on them without the need for surgery. It’s normal for children to get their first orthodontic assessment when they’re about seven, but work would only start at that age in extreme circumstances. An orthodontist may still prefer that we do any necessary extractions, and we will continue to provide cleanings and sealants while orthodontic work is ongoing.
Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.