Proper teeth alignment is crucial for both the appearance and health of your child’s smile. Understanding how orthodontists assess this alignment can help you appreciate the importance of early intervention and regular check-ups. This blog post explores the various methods orthodontists use to evaluate and ensure proper teeth alignment, with a focus on pediatric orthodontics.

The Initial Consultation

When you first visit an orthodontist, the process begins with a comprehensive consultation. This initial assessment is essential for understanding the unique dental needs of your child. The orthodontist will perform a thorough examination of your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaw.

Visual Examination

A visual examination is the first step. The orthodontist looks for obvious signs of misalignment, such as crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. This quick check helps identify immediate issues that need addressing.

X-Rays and Photographs

To get a detailed view of what’s happening below the surface, orthodontists use x-rays and photographs. X-rays provide a clear image of the teeth, roots, and jawbone, revealing any hidden problems like impacted teeth or jawbone irregularities. Photographs help document the current state of your child’s teeth for future comparison.

Digital Impressions and 3D Imaging

Advancements in technology have revolutionized orthodontics. Digital impressions and 3D imaging offer precise and detailed views of your child’s mouth. These tools help orthodontists create accurate treatment plans tailored to your child’s specific needs. Unlike traditional molds, digital impressions are more comfortable for children and provide instant results.

Common Alignment Issues

Orthodontists look for several common alignment issues during their assessments:

1.    Crowding: This occurs when there isn’t enough space for all the teeth to fit properly within the jaw. Crowding can lead to overlapping and crooked teeth.

2.    Spacing: This issue arises when there are gaps between teeth, often due to missing teeth or abnormal growth patterns.

3.    Overbite and Underbite: An overbite happens when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth excessively. An underbite occurs when the lower teeth extend beyond the upper teeth.

4.    Crossbite: A crossbite is when some of the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth rather than outside.

5.    Open Bite: An open bite is when the upper and lower teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed, often due to habits like thumb sucking.

Personalized Orthodontic Treatments

Once the orthodontist has thoroughly assessed your child’s teeth alignment, they will develop a personalized treatment plan. Orthodontic treatments in Colorado often include:

1.    Braces: Traditional braces are effective for correcting a wide range of alignment issues. Modern braces are more comfortable and less noticeable than before.

2.    Invisalign: Clear aligners like Invisalign are a popular choice for those seeking a less conspicuous treatment. They are ideal for mild to moderate alignment issues.

3.    Retainers: After the initial treatment, retainers help maintain the new alignment and prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

The Importance of Early Assessment

Early assessment and intervention are crucial in pediatric orthodontics. Identifying and addressing alignment issues at a young age can prevent more severe problems in the future. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. Early detection allows for timely treatment, which can guide the growth of the jaw and the incoming permanent teeth.

Benefits of Proper Teeth Alignment

Proper teeth alignment offers numerous benefits beyond a beautiful smile. It improves oral hygiene by making it easier to clean teeth properly, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. It also enhances chewing and speaking functions and prevents undue wear on the teeth.

Choosing the Right Orthodontist

Selecting the right orthodontist for your child is crucial. Look for a specialist in pediatric orthodontics who has experience and a good reputation. At Grin Pediatric Dentistry, we focus on providing comprehensive orthodontic care tailored to the needs of young patients. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your child’s dental health through effective and gentle treatments.


Understanding how orthodontists check teeth alignment highlights the importance of regular dental visits and early treatment. By identifying common alignment issues and using advanced tools, orthodontists can develop effective treatment plans to ensure your child’s teeth grow correctly. If you’re considering orthodontic treatments in Colorado, consult a specialist to find the best options for your child’s smile.