What Can I expect at my child’s first orthodontic appointment?

It’s always hard to believe how fast children grow. Every new change is a new adventure, and one of the more visual changes is when they lose their baby teeth and grow adult teeth. Once you’ve started noticing those adult teeth growing, then it’s time to book your child’s first orthodontic evaluation.

If that seems too early, then just remember that visiting the orthodontist at a young age can save you many visits in later years by letting you know if early intervention is required. This is why the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children first visit the orthodontist at the age of seven. Don’t worry, your child won’t walk out of their first appointment with a full set of braces, but here are the things you can expect to happen if their first appointment is at Chattahoochee Family Orthodontics.


To be put at ease

Our first goal, with both our young patients and their parents, is to put everyone at ease. We know visiting any kind of doctor can be a little nerve wracking, so we take extra care to ensure your child feels comfortable. One of the main goals is to introduce you to our office and the family friendly atmosphere that is central to our mission statement.


Meet with a treatment coordinator

One of the first things you and your child will do is meet with a treatment coordinator. Her top priority is to get to know your child and help you learn about the care you’ll receive. She will review your child’s health history, ask and answer questions, and help you make informed decisions. We believe this one-on-one time to learn your family’s needs and educate our patients is vital to everyone’s success.


Panorex Radiograph X-Rays

After you’ve met with your treatment coordinator, your child will then obtain a Panorex radiograph and photographs of your child’s teeth. This is a dental x-ray, but it is different than the ones you might receive at the dentist. It does not reveal any cavities, but instead gives us a broad view of the jaws, teeth, and temporomandibular (jaw) joints. In other words, it gives us a great picture of how your child’s teeth are growing and what, if any, kind of orthodontic treatments might be required.


Meet with the Orthodontist

The orthodontist will meet with you personally to explain the findings from your X-Rays. He will also take a quick look at your child’s bite and teeth. The primary goal of the first evaluation is to determine what, if any, treatments are required and what the timeline might be.

We know that you and your child may have questions, and we welcome this opportunity to help you fully understand each step of treatment. We firmly believe that parents are a child’s number one advocate, and we want you to know you can ask your questions at Chattahoochee Family Orthodontics – We are parents, too!


Explore Treatment Options

There are four key things we’re looking to possible correct at your child’s first appointment:

  • Bite—the way the upper and lower teeth meet
  • Potentially problematic oral habits
  • Jaw growth
  • Any potential interference with the eruption (appearance) of permanent teeth
  • Each of these issues, when caught early on, can save you significant time and money in the future.

For instance, your child’s bite will affect how their teeth settle. If we can correct the bite earlier in the process, we can ensure the teeth settle in a better place and prevent chipped teeth or discomfort later down the road into adulthood.

Many children (and even adults) might have problematic oral habits. They might still suck their thumb or they may stick their tongue out too much, both of which can cause their teeth to become crooked. If we identify these habits early on, we can work with your child to correct them with education or appliances.

And of course, many teeth become crooked because the child’s mouth is too crowded. If we identify problems with jaw growth or interference with eruption, we can start creating more space at an early age so the teeth don’t come in as crowded.


Review financial options and procedures

Ultimately, we believe in allowing our patients and their families to make informed decisions. Because of that, the Treatment Coordinator will discuss your treatment plan and the payment options that come along with it. We know finances are always a concern, which is why we work with you to identify the right payment plan for your needs should you decide to start treatment. We will also obtain the amount of insurance your carrier will allow and factor that into the cost of your treatment plan.


Schedule an Evaluation today

If your child is ready for their first orthodontist appointment, then contact us at one of our three convenient locations in Cumming, Hamilton Mill, or Suwanee Georgia and schedule an appointment. We are a family oriented business, and would be thrilled to meet you and your child. Creating a healthy smile for your child is our passion, and we hope you’ll visit soon!

Sources:
First Pediatric Orthodontist: What to Expect
The Basics of Braces
Types of Dental X-Rays