Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. In accordance with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Children can better achieve optimal orthodontic results with an early evaluation and diagnosis. Our orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, but there could be a problem only an orthodontist can detect.
Why Age 7?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars are erupting, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and determine any malocclusions or crowding. Malocclusions (bad bites) affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile and if not treated can result in a variety of problems. By obtaining orthodontic treatment and treating problems when children are still growing, we can achieve results that may not be possible after the face and jawbones have fully developed. Timely screening increases the chance for an incredible smile!
Benefits to early treatment include:
- Influence jaw growth to increase facial symmetry
- Create room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Help eliminating harmful oral habits (thumb/finger sucking)
- Potential to simplify and/or shorten treatment time in the future