The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up | By Dr. Meghan Dicks

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the-Rightgivingdinner-6(pp_w921_h370) The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up | By Dr. Meghan Dicks

Orthodontics can play a huge role in young children’s appearance and health. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that an orthodontist examine a child’s teeth by the time they are 7 years old, even while baby teeth are still in the mouth.

While your child’s teeth may look straight, there may be underlying problems such as the way adult teeth are going to erupt, a misaligned bite, the relationship of the upper and lower jaw, tooth crowding, or problems due to thumb sucking and other habits. Orthodontists can pinpoint these and start correcting them to avoid potential problems for future adult teeth. By age 7, enough permanent teeth have emerged for your orthodontist to evaluate relationships developing between teeth, jaw and bite and make sure all will continue to develop as they should.

Orthodontic Exam by Age 7

The transition from baby teeth (primary teeth) to permanent teeth is extremely important. Baby teeth set the foundation for permanent teeth and their proper positions. That’s why it’s important to have an orthodontist examine your child’s mouth while they still have baby teeth.

Some of your child’s behaviors may give some indication that an orthodontic examination is in order, too. It’s best to discuss your concerns with your dentist who will refer you to one of their local orthodontic partners.

Consult with your dentist if your child experiences one or more of the following:

  • Loses baby teeth early or late
  • Has difficulty chewing or biting
  • Breathes through their mouth
  • Sucks their thumb
  • Has crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Has a jaw that shifts or makes sounds
  • Has difficulty speaking
  • Bites their cheek or the roof of their mouth
  • Has teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Has a facial imbalance
  • Grinds or clenches their teeth
  • Has jaws that are too far forward or too far backward
We recommend screening all young patients at age 7 so that these and other conditions can be identified and corrected as early as possible. Although some may be able to wait until all the permanent teeth are in, interceptive treatment can make the final results faster, better, and give your children an additional three to four years of having a great smile at an age when their self-image is developing.


Dr. Meghan Dicks

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Trudent Family Dentistry | Fredericton | ( 506) 999-DENT (3368)

 Gateway Dental Centre | Oromocto | (506) 357-2440


certificate-2(pp_w921_h370) The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up | By Dr. Meghan Dicks

Dr. Dicks was born in Newfoundland and she moved to Fredericton in 1998 where she attended LHHS and UNB. Dr. Dicks graduated from UNB in 2007, excelling both academically and athletically. She was on the Dean’s list and received an Academic All Canadian award as a member of the UNB women’s hockey team. Dr. Dicks went on to Dalhousie University where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2012. Dr. Dicks was the recipient of a number of awards during her dental studies, including the prestigious award in her senior year as the “student with the greatest proficiency in Restorative Dentistry.”

Dr. Dicks has received training and certificates in implant dentistry along with nitrous oxide and oral sedation. She has a great compassion for her patients and aims to provide them with a calm, comfortable dental experience. Dr. Dicks loves working with people of all ages and has a passion for working on children.

In her spare time, Dr. Dicks enjoys spending time with her husband Pete and their baby boy Teddy. They enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle with friends and family. Dr. Dicks feels very lucky to continue her career in this beautiful city and is excited to begin seeing new patients.

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