Based upon the advice of the American Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Fleming recommends that you schedule your child’s first orthodontic evaluation at the age of seven. At this age, we can assess whether your child will need orthodontic treatment and, if so, when.
For some children, we recommend early treatment or Phase One orthodontics around the age of eight or nine. Early treatment is designed to guide the growth of the jaw and correct certain bite abnormalities. With early treatment, we can also help to create enough room for the adult teeth to take their places, reducing the need for future extractions.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
Not every child will need early orthodontic treatment, but there are several indicators that the treatment may be necessary.
- Did your child begin losing baby teeth before the age of 5 or retain baby teeth after age 13?
- Does your child experience difficulty biting or chewing?
- Is your child a mouth breather?
- Did your child continue thumb-sucking after age five?
- Has your child been diagnosed with speech impediments?
- Does your child have protruding or bucked teeth?
- Do your child’s teeth fail to come together normally?
- Does your child’s jaw shift when opening or closing?
- Are you noticing crowded front teeth in your seven or eight-year old?
Early Treatment can Prevent or Reduce the Severity of Future Orthodontic Problems
Some children develop orthodontic problems due to accidents or unhealthy habits and some inherit them. When we have the opportunity to diagnose and treat these problems at an early age, we can spare children the need for more extensive treatments in the future.
It’s never too late to schedule your child’s first orthodontic visit, but an evaluation around the age of 7 or 8 is strongly recommended. Also, if your family dentist has suggested a visit to the orthodontist, we invite you to contact our office right away. As a team, we will perform your child’s initial examination and then sit down to discuss our findings with you. If you are ready to take the first step towards your child’s healthy orthodontic future, please contact us today.