Timing of Orthodontics

1375254_531313673667540_6171926567822484085_nWhile there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age 7.

By age 7, most children have a mix of primary (baby) teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner than later.  Early recognition of malocclusion and it’s cause in important to minimize the severity of the malocclusion, prevent surgery in the future, and/or even correct it completely!  Sometimes, early interceptive treatment can prevent the need for comprehensive orthodontic treatment later.

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment usually does not start until your child is 10-11 years old.  By this age, most children have a mix of primary (baby) teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for us to diagnose and correct both tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery. -FLIER_kids_8-5x11_Is-3

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of primary (baby) teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Speech difficulties
  • Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • Facial imbalance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future!