Your dentist will first perform a basic examination of your child’s mouth to see if they can locate the problem. However, some problems are impossible to spot during a clinical examination, so your dentist might recommend an x-ray.
Taking a routine panoramic x-ray of a child’s teeth around eight or nine years old is recommended to ensure proper development. Using the x-ray, your dentist will evaluate:
- The direction in which the teeth will grow
- The number of teeth
- The shape, size and degree of formation of the teeth (delayed or advanced)
- The likelihood or presence of disease
Can something be done?
If your child is at risk for developmental issues—like crooked teeth, for example—your dentist will recommend regular monitoring, in order to re-assess the situation and intervene when necessary.
Depending on the problem, he may offer the use of orthodontics to straighten your child’s teeth or to simply ensure they grow straight. In more severe cases, the selective removal of problematic primary teeth will help influence the direction in which the permanent teeth will appear and help minimize problems.