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.
- 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:
Guide jaw growth
Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
Correct harmful oral habits
Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
Create 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.