When To Start Treatments

The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up:  No Later than Age 7

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

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    • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
  • While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
  • A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
  • Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
  • Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

orange-bulletGuide jaw growth
orange-bulletLower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
orange-bulletCorrect harmful oral habits
orange-bulletImprove appearance
orange-bulletGuide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
orange-bulletCreate a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

  • Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up.

Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.