First Orthodontic Visit
When should my child first see the orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first visit to the orthodontist occur at age 7. This does not necessarily mean that the child needs treatment at this age. However, screening at this age can provide important information regarding the need for treatment and the timing of treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. The orthodontist can gain valuable information at this age including crowding problems, future eruption problems, oral habits and developing skeletal disharmony. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-toside tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth and balancing the skeletal growth pattern
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces