Your children’s dentist will monitor their teeth for developmental issues, but they’ll likely refer them to us for a comprehensive orthodontic assessment. At Dr. Cynthia Wong’s Orland Park office, we’ve overseen many children’s orthodontic therapy, providing them with a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. To help families understand the importance of orthodontic assessments, we thought it would be a good idea to describe what to expect.
We’re going to use digital x-rays to determine where a child’s adult teeth are likely to erupt. From the time they’re around seven years old, we can reasonably predict whether their wisdom teeth are at risk of being impacted and if the other teeth are becoming too crowded. However, orthodontic therapy usually does not begin at this age outside of extreme circumstances, such as breathing difficulty or facial deformity. We’ll also ask children questions about whether they have difficulty chewing, whether their jaws or teeth are often sore, and whether they feel fatigued. These questions can help us to determine whether misalignments might be a contributing factor to temporomandibular joint disorder and sleep apnea. We’ll also inspect the wear patterns of their enamel for signs of nighttime teeth grinding. After making an impression of a child’s mouth and running the x-rays through our modeling software, we’ll be able to develop a treatment plan and demonstrate to them and the parents any particular concerns we may have about the future movement of their teeth and jaws.