Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Early detection of orthodontic problems in young children may make it easier to correct those problems in the long run. Waiting until all of the permanent (adult) teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult or even impossible. An early childhood orthodontic evaluation can yield excellent results
Why Your Child Should Get An Orthodontic Check-up No Later Than Age 7:
- Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
- While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
- The check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
- Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
- In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
- Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
- guide jaw growth
- lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- correct harmful oral habits
- improve appearance
- guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- improve the way lips meet
Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time