One reason why it’s important to see Dr. Peterson by age 7 is so he can check your child’s jaw growth. Sometimes there are issues with the jaw that can be corrected simply at this young age, but would grow into more complex problems when your child is older and more fully developed. This could mean a small appliance or even a first phase of braces. These small fixes now could simplify future treatment and save your child time in braces and even surgery when they’re older.
Another common problem is crowding as the baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth start to come in. Dr. Peterson can monitor the teeth and intervene if he can see crowding may be a problem in the future. Again, treatments can range from expander appliances to braces, and can prevent the need for longer treatments in the future.
Your San Tan Valley Orthodontist will also be on the lookout for bad habits such as thumb sucking, finger sucking, and nail biting. Habits such as these can lead to several orthodontic problems, but if they are nipped in the bud early on, the consequences won’t be nearly as drastic. Dr. Peterson has a few tricks up his sleeve for getting kids to stop, but if none of those tricks work he may recommend inserting a custom appliance that will stop the behavior.
Dr. Peterson can also identify issues with your child’s airway. These issues can cause your child to snore, have trouble breathing while sleeping, have restless sleep, and even have trouble concentrating during the day because of lack of sleep. Jaw and tooth alignment affect a child’s airway, and your San Tan Valley Orthodontist can fix these problems and encourage the jaw and teeth to grow in a way that could prevent problems with airway restriction in the future. In fact, Dr. Peterson spent several months during his graduate work studying airway restriction in children and adults.
Most often, Dr. Peterson will examine your child and determine it is not yet time for treatment. At this point, he will recommend coming back for a complimentary recheck when he feels he or she may be ready. Call today for a consultation for everyone in your family ages 7 and up!