At what age should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening for children by the age of seven years. At seven, 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 seven, 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 development 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 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 emerge, 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 appeared, 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 12 to 18 months and is not begun until all the permanent teeth have erupted.
Dr. Angela handles 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.