Get a Head Start on a Beautiful Smile

As a parent in Shelby, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile.

Dr. Patel will treat your children like our own by giving them the best possible orthodontic care.

Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By Age 7

Ideally, orthodontists like Dr. Neal Patel recommend starting treatment early rather than later. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that children visit the orthodontist for the first time at age seven.

At that time, we can monitor their mouths and growth, starting treatment at the opportune time. This check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and braces for kids aren't necessary.

Or, Dr. Patel may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for your child.

In other cases, Dr. Patel might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

Shelby NC Orthodontics

What Is Early Treatment?

Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

In some cases, Dr. Patel will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once your child has finished growing.

Choosing the Best Time for Treatment

To get the best results, the ideal age to wear braces is usually between seven and fourteen years old.

If Dr. Patel thinks your child will need treatment, he’ll let you know when it will be best to begin treatment. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
Orthodontist Shelby

Signs the Bite's Not Right

Bad bites, also known as “malocclusions,” are the most common reason for braces. This is commonly seen with babies who suck their thumbs or pacifiers.

If they continue to suck for long periods, their teeth can actually get pushed out into different positions, which affects their bites.

It's not always easy to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite.

Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
  • An unbalanced facial appearance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth


Learn More at Your Free Consultation

If your child has a dental issue, please contact us by setting up a free consultation at our Shelby office.

We can talk about your child's orthodontic options and develop a treatment plan customized to your child's needs.