Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist around age 7. By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, and establish the back bite.
At that point, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side 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.
Early treatment (if needed) 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
- Possibly avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- 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 baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an complimentary orthodontic exam. Evaluation now will allow us to intercept problems early to ensure your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, we can carefully monitor growth and development at no charge and begin treatment when it is ideal.