What age should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening for children by the age of 7 years. At age 7 the teeth and jaws are developed enough so we can see if there will be any serious bite problems in the future. Most of the time treatment is not necessary at age 7, but it gives the parents and dentist time to watch the development of the teeth and jaws and decide on the best mode of treatment. When you have time on your side you can plan ahead and prevent the formation of serious orthodontic problems.
Why is it important to have orthodontic treatment at a young age?
Research has shown that serious orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when the patient’s skeleton is still growing and it's flexible. If we correct skeletal problems at a younger age we can prepare the mouth for the eruption of the permanent teeth. If the permanent teeth have adequate space to erupt they will usually come in fairly straight. If the teeth erupt straight their tendency to get crooked again after the braces come off is diminished greatly. After the permanent teeth have erupted, complete braces are placed for final alignment and detailing of the bite. The final stage of treatment is quicker and easier on the patient. This phase of treatment usually lasts from 12 - 18 months and is not started until all of the permanent teeth are erupted.
Dr. Angela, Dr. Arpi and Dr. Coates all do interceptive orthodontics such as space maintainers, space retainers, and habit appliances. For more extensive orthodontic needs, a referral to an orthodontist will be given. Dr. Angela has handpicked only the best orthodontists so rest assured your child's orthodontic needs will be addressed with great care.