The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first see an orthodontist by the age of 7. By this age, the first permanent molars and incisors will have come in by that time and issues with crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be identified. While most orthodontic treatments will not begin until age 9 to 16, by age 7 most issues with jaw growth or tooth eruption problems can be identified.
Orthodontic problems are more easily treated when they are identified at an earlier age. Early treatment allows the orthodontist to regulate the width of the upper and lower jaw, ensure enough space for permanent teeth, and avoid the need for permanent teeth extractions. The orthodontist can also address issues with thumb sucking and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment!
The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Having your child's orthodontic health evaluated early can lead to many benefits, such as:
- -Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- -Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- -Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- -Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- -Reducing the need for tooth removal
- -Reducing treatment time with braces