If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see an orthodontist. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child see an orthodontist by the age of 7. At this age, an orthodontist can spot subtle issues with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found early. You don’t need a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist.
Early intervention means early detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Orthodontic intervention monitors growth and development, reducing serious problems later. When early orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully observe and track growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal for the patient.
Signs of Orthodontic Problems
We look for signs which indicate possible bite problems and early orthodontic treatment may be needed. Orthodontic problems are not always straightforward. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding problems. Here are some signs that might indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Excess spaces between teeth
- Overbite, underbite, crossbite
- Extra teeth
- Missing teeth
- Severely protruding or buck teeth
- Severely crowded teeth
- Narrow upper or lower jaw
Benefits of Early Treatment
There are many benefits to early orthodontic treatment. Some of the most direct results of early treatment include:
- Creating space for crowded, erupting permanent teeth
- Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
- Decreasing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
- Improve self-esteem & increase self-confidence
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.