Why should I take my child back to the orthodontist for observational visits?

Congratulations on taking your child to see an American Association of Orthodontist (AAO) orthodontist! If an area of concern was noted, the orthodontist may have suggested periodic observational visits, which may include x-rays and photos. Their purpose is to keep an eye on how your child’s teeth, face and jaws are developing. Visits may be scheduled once or twice a year.

Are these visits are really necessary? Yes they are! These visits allow your orthodontist to monitor changes as your child grows.

The kinds of things your orthodontist will be watching include whether:

  • Baby teeth are being lost schedule
  • Permanent teeth are coming in symmetrically, in the correct sequence at the correct time
  • Upper and lower jaws are developing properly
  • Permanent teeth have enough room to come in

If treatment is necessary to intercept a developing or existing problem, there is often an ideal time for treatment to begin. These return visits help determine the best time to in start treatment.

Treatment doesn’t always mean a child gets braces. Treatment could consist of pulling a stubborn baby tooth at the right time, or intervention help to stop sucking habit. AAO orthodontists are experts in knowing what type of treatment is needed, and when it will be most beneficial.

Do continue to have your child seen periodically by your orthodontist if it has been recommended. You will be giving your child the opportunity to get the best results from their orthodontic treatment and the precious gift of a healthy, beautiful smile.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is open exclusively to orthodontists – only orthodontists are admitted for membership. The only doctors who can call themselves “orthodontists” have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.

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