Tag Archives: benefits of smiling

Why does my child need to see an orthodontist so young?

IMG_4715     Our office, along with the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends every child see an orthodontist by age seven! That doesn’t mean your child will need braces that young – but if treatment is called for, it’s important not to wait.

These appointments are essential to screen for potential issues during the growth phase, and there are many reasons why you should not skip them. First, the initial consultation is F-R-E-E, and in the best case you will be reassured your child’s bite is on the right track. This first visit is a great time to get to know your child and to introduce them to our office. In most cases we are able to bypass treatment at this time and monitor your child as they grow and develop. If we do determine treatment is needed, the interceptive treatment may save you time and money in the long run. More important, we will be able to catch severe problems before it’s too late!

By age seven, your child is mature enough that we can identify structural and developmental issues but still young enough for us to correct them at the optimal time. Once the mouth has grown to maturity, some treatments, especially relating to jaw development, can be difficult and painful, and may even require surgery. Never fixing these problems could mean a lifetime of dental issues and pain.

Not all dentists refer children this young, but you don’t need a referral to see an orthodontist. The following behaviors are some that indicate your child would benefit from an early visit, but keep in mind there are others only an orthodontist will be able to spot:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A bite that is too far forward or back
  • Tooth-grinding
  • Cheek-biting
  • Tongue-thrusting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • An unbalanced facial appearance

If immediate treatment isn’t necessary after this initial visit, we will monitor your child’s growth and development for a couple of years before determining if orthodontics is right for your family.




One final comment: Many of the dental and orthodontic conditions that are present in our young patients are passed on via genetics from one or both parents to their children. A common finding is missing teeth, impacted teeth and extra teeth. It is wise to have an early evaluation to screen for these and other conditions.

Thank you and we look forward to creating beautiful, confident smiles for you and your family!

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Beautiful, Confident Smiles

A smile is a beautiful thing. It’s a universal symbol of happiness. Have you ever noticed what happens when you smile at someone? We, at VanLaecken Orthodontics feel it is the most powerful and underrated gifts that you can give someone!

Every time you smile you not only make other people feel better about themselves, but, you are also raising your self-esteem and increasing your positive attitude without even trying! A smile has a magical, almost spiritual connection to our souls.  You can actually feel it deep inside when you smile and someone else smiles back at you.

So what exactly is a smile? The dictionary definition is: a pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed. Whatever the definition is; Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face can lead you to feel actual happiness, joy, or amusement. Take notice around you of who smiles and who doesn’t, it speaks much about a person.


Just because a person is an avid smiler doesn’t mean their life is perfect, but it does mean they enjoy sharing happiness with others. The avid smiler may be having a very difficult day, but you’ll still see them smile at you or others because they know the power it gives.

We believe a smile is your ability to control any moment, to change any attitude, to fill any room with happiness. A smile is the simplest solution, to our toughest days.  Even in your darkest moment, a smile can bring sunshine through the clouds.

If you’ve never experienced the powerful control of a smile, try it sometime, be an avid smiler.  Make eye contact with someone who appears to need a smile and then let them have it. And always remember “a smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”


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