Let’s get this straight: when should your child visit an orthodontist?

Written by: Dr Moira Wong
Published: | Updated: 07/02/2019
Edited by: Nicholas Howley

When is it time to start taking your child to the dentist? And what signs should prompt you to take them to see an orthodontist? We asked Dr Moira Wong, a highly accomplished orthodontist based in London.

When should children have their first dental check-up?

When they get their first tooth it is good for children to get used to having their teeth examined and being in the dental chair.

What are the most common orthodontic problems that children experience?

There are a range of problems that as a parent you should watch out for. The main thing to identify is any signs of malocclusions, or “bad bites”. The best way to demonstrate is with pictures, so here are some things to watch out for:

Warning: this image contains graphic content

You should also see an orthodontist if you notice:

  • your child is losing their baby teeth too early or too late
  • they have difficulty with chewing or biting
  • they tend to breathe through their mouth
  • their jaw makes sounds when it moves
  • they bite their cheek or the roof of their mouth
  • teeth grinding
  • facial imbalance
  • speech difficulties

Can children of any age have orthodontic work?

The first orthodontic check-up should take place at age seven or eight in order to diagnose and abnormalities that are going to develop in the adult dentition before they occur. One can then be proactive to correct these abnormalities at an early stage. For example, if we anticipate that crowding is going to be an issue then we can begin expansion to start creating space for the adult teeth.

What special measures do you take for nervous children?

Dr Carmen Colomar, our paediatric dentist, has a special program for nervous children. At the end of this program, which includes lots of reassurance and rewards, the patients find that the children look forward to seeing Carmen and bound in looking forward to looking at their teeth with her.

By Dr Moira Wong

Dr Moira Wong is a highly accomplished orthodontist based in London, with extensive experience in all aspects of dentistry.

Dr Wong qualified from the prestigious London Hospital Medical College before going on to specialise in orthodontics. She was accepted onto the specialty training course at Guy’s hospital where she gained a master’s degree, before receiving more training at the renowned King’s College and St George’s Hospital and gaining a fellowship in orthodontics.

One of the most well-trained orthodontists in London, Dr Wong gained her experience in both the UK and the US, where she worked with the Pennstar Trauma team at the University of Pennsylvania treating gunshot victims. She later took a post as a senior house officer in the oral surgery unit at Mount Vernon Hospital and gained unique experience treating victims of a train crash.

Dr Wong later went on to establish her own dental practice, Moira Wong Orthodontics, and is highly regarded by patients and peers alike. At the cutting-edge of her field, Dr Wong can offer the best patient care and the most up-to-date treatments for adults and children alike.

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