When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation at the first sign of orthodontic problems, or by age 7.

At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment, ensuring the best result and least time and expense.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.

Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?

By the age of 7, the first adult molars typically erupt, establishing the back bite.

During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, openbite, crowding, or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

What determines if my child is a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is more than improving the smile; it also improves bad bites (malocclusions).

Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment, and they affect the way children will smile, chew, clean their teeth, or feel about their smile.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:

  • Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
  • Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
  • Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
  • Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

Ultimately, braces for children does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.

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