Children’s Orthodontics

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age 7.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO BEGIN ORTHODONTICS?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Signs the Bite is Not Right

It’s not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

• Early or late loss of baby teeth

• Difficulty in chewing or biting

• Breathing through the mouth

• Thumb-sucking

• Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth

• Jaws that are too far forward or back

• Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth

• Protruding teeth

• Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way

• An unbalanced facial appearance

• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Not only do well-aligned teeth look good and feel good, they also are important to good dental health. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to dental problems. Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. But if your child does need help, it pays to start treatment when you have the greatest chance for success. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.