We hear from parents of young children all the time who want to know what they can do now to prevent the need for orthodontic care later in their child’s life. Parents of babies and toddlers are great candidates for this talk because some habits start early. We’ve put together a list of some things you can be looking for in babies as young as 18-24 months old. Some you can prevent, and others you can’t, but it will give you a better idea of what to expect in the years to come.

Sucking – You’re probably aware that the prolonged use of a pacifier, thumb, or finger sucking can cause permanent damage to the shape of your child’s mouth. It is necessary to promote self-soothing during early development, but your child should be finished with these habits by the time they reach two years of age, if not sooner.

Genetics – In many cases, your child is going to inherit dental woes from you, his parents. Missing teeth or crowded teeth can be genetic traits that you can do nothing to prevent. If that’s the case, be sure to schedule early orthodontic appointments so that we can do preventive orthodontic care in early elementary school.

Dental Health Concerns – Some young children have early signs of dental health concerns like gum disease and extreme decay. It can be a sign of neglect, but also a sign of poor genetics. In either case, routine dental cleanings will be very important to protect your child’s future smile!

As the parent of a young child, we hope that you can take some of this information and develop a plan to help your child have a healthier, more beautiful smile as he ages. Schedule an orthodontic appointment around the age of 7 for optimal results. Contact us today to set up that appointment, and let us know what concerns you have for your child. We’d be happy to take a look!