The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist at age seven. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there may actually be a problem that needs to be monitored or corrected. Not all children need to be treated at this time.
Early treatment (known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight when a child still has many of their primary or “baby” teeth. Early treatment will guide the teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruding teeth. Phase one also assists jaw growth so that it can develop properly and accommodate the permanent teeth. By doing so, we can improve your bite and avoid the need for extracting teeth later on. Treating orthodontic issues early gives us the best chance for lifelong results.
Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. We want to share with you the latest available methods for keeping your child healthy and safe. The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to the detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. At the first visit we will present:
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.