While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age 7.
Get It Straight can determine if orthodontic treatment is required and the best age for the patient to begin treatment, if necessary.
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, retain space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. With early treatment our orthodontists can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth.In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment, after permanent teeth come in.
Your First Visit & Observation are FREE
Here are some things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathingFinger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
The Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program
Our orthodontists develop a treatment plan based on each child's needs. If our orthodontists decide the patient is not ready for treatment, he or she is placed in our Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program. The no-fee Orthodontic Growth and Guidance Program is for patients who are not yet ready to start treatment, but are being observed in our office every eight to 12 months. We observe their progress as they grow, making sure baby teeth are being lost correctly and permanent teeth are erupting in correct position. In some cases, early removal of baby teeth can eliminate poor permanent teeth patterns and reduce the treatment time required for braces. We will notify your general dentist of recommendations made during your Growth and Guidance visits. The program helps us build a relationship with your child and determine the optimum time to begin treatment to achieve the best possible result.
Does early treatment prevent the need for braces when permanent teeth come in?
Typically, no. Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet come in when early treatment is performed, the final alignment of teeth is not yet complete. Typically, a shorter phase of treatment in the teen years, after all permanent teeth have come in, completes the correction. In some circumstances, braces after early treatment may not be indicated.