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.
If you have dental concerns, please make an appointment with us.
Dr. Moira Wong – Orthodontist
An exceptionally skilled orthodontist who simply loves to improve the smiles of adults and children.
Dr Moira Wong (GDC no: 67960, UK) developed an ambition to specialise in the field of orthodontics during her time as a dentistry student at the London Hospital Medical College. After graduating in 1994, she gained experience in all fields of dentistry prior to specialisation. This included working as part of the Pennstar trauma team at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr Wong’s career pathway began with a spell as a house officer in prosthetic dentistry at the Royal London Hospital, followed by senior house officer positions at the Bristol Dental Hospital. During this period she gained her fellowship in dental surgery and worked in the paediatric dentistry department, treating special needs children and addressing complicated developmental problems. She also worked with adults requiring the replacement of multiple teeth.
Returning to London to take up a position as a senior house officer in oral surgery, Dr Wong gained experience in dental and facial surgery. One of her busiest nights was helping with the suturing of patients following a national rail crash.
Dr Wong was then accepted onto the specialty training programme at Guy’s Hospital, where she spent a further three years gaining her master’s degree. She continued onto a consultant training programme at King’s College and St George’s Hospital, gaining her Fellowship in orthodontics. Currently less than 300 UK practitioners have this level of training, with just 5 to 10 people gaining the accreditation in an average year.
Today, Dr Wong has acquired an excellent reputation for her highly sophisticated work and approachable, communicative manner. Her ambition is to be recognised as nothing less than the best orthodontist in London.