When Should You Take Your Child to the Orthodontist or Dentist?
The dentist is a doctor who specializes in oral health. Dentists have many roles in diagnosing oral diseases, promoting oral health and maintaining a healthy mouth. These are also the individuals who restore cavities or create crowns for teeth when cavities are too large for a filling.
On the other hand, an orthodontist is a specialist in the dental field. An orthodontist is required to attend 4 years of dental school in addition to completing a special residency prior to practicing. Primarily, orthodontists specialize and treat problems with alignment, development, and irregularities of the jaw and face.
When to Schedule Your Child’s Visit:
When to take your child to the dentist or orthodontist is actually a great question as a parent to have. It is certainly not an answer that appears in all those parenting books!
According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, in order to best prevent any dental issues a child should visit a dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. On the other hand, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have their first visit with an orthodontist no later than the age of 7.
Of course, if your children may be older and haven’t been to a dentist yet that is nothing to panic about. However, this would be a great time to schedule a visit so that they can get familiar with the environment and office as a whole! Additionally, once establishing a relationship with the dentist it could be possible that your dentist will give you a referral for your child to an orthodontist in the area if he or she feels that a consultation is necessary.
What To Expect At Your Child’s Visit:
At the dental office, you can expect your child to meet the dentist and the staff. A dental assistant or technician may take dental X-rays of your child’s mouth to get a detailed look at each tooth or to see if any permanent teeth have started to come in. After any X-rays are taken the dentist will come in to evaluate the X-rays and evaluate your child’s teeth. He or she may count the teeth or have your child help count so that the visit is interactive and exciting for your child. If any dental concerns are identified, the dentist may discuss a treatment plan with you.
Similarly, when visiting the orthodontist, your child may get new dental X-rays taken with the orthodontic assistant or technician and the orthodontist will review these. The orthodontist will look for any dental irregularities or concerns on the X-rays and will also look at the teeth too. He or she may advise treatment if any problem areas are identified. Any documentation of the visit at the orthodontist may be sent to your regular dentist so that your dentist may be informed of any treatment or diagnosis.
Will I be able to be present during the visit?
As a parent, you should be allowed in the room during the dental and orthodontic visits! In fact, it is typically encouraged so your child can feel more at ease in the chair. Many dental and orthodontic offices have an extra chair so parents or any guests can join in on the visit.
Looking for an Orthodontist?
At Sims Orthodontics located in Pensacola, Florida, we welcome patients of all ages! Please contact us at your convenience to schedule your first visit with us.