Getting Started << When should my child first be seen?
When should my child first be seen?
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children be screened as early as 7 years old.
When most people think of orthodontics, they think of teenagers. The fact is most orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14. However, by age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while baby teeth are still present. That's important, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are found early.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.
Even if a problem is detected, your orthodontist may not recommend immediate treatment. Chances are your doctor will take a "wait-and-see" approach, checking your child at periodic observation appointments as permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. For each patient who needs treatment, there's an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results. The orthodontist is the specialist who has the knowledge to determine when the time is just right.
Early treatment gives your orthodontist the chance to:
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, and that's why it's important to take your child for that first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.
Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention.
For more complete information please visit the AAO at www.braces.org.
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