One of the most frequently asked questions in orthodontics is, "When should my child see an orthodontist?" The answer to this question is rather simple but can be somewhat concerning without a thorough explanation.
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should be seen for their initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7. Yes, this is a young age and most of the teeth at this time are still baby teeth, but an evaluation does not mean you are ready to start braces or any form of treatment. This is the age where the front adult teeth are starting to grow in, so we want to make sure that they, along with the jaw bones, are developing and growing properly.
At Bucks Mont Orthodontics, Dr. Patel takes a very simple and conservative approach to orthodontic treatment. By evaluating children at age 7, Dr. Patel can address a problem that is starting to occur (or even before it occurs), or more likely put your child on a 4-6 month recall until they are ready for orthodontic treatment.
By seeing children for an orthodontic evaluation at age 7, Dr. Patel is able to ensure the baby teeth are healthy and maintaining the space for the adult teeth, the proper adult teeth are growing into your child's mouth at the correct time, and that the jaw bones are growing properly to accommodate all of the adult teeth. There are 5 findings at this age that would warrant treatment (Phase I Orthodontic Treatment). These findings are as follows:
1.) Posterior cross-bite (an indication that the top jaw may be too small)
2.) Anterior cross-bite or an underbite
3.) Severe crowding
4.) Adult teeth not growing into their correct position
5.) Protruding front teeth that are at risk of trauma
There is a window for when these findings can be corrected, but early evaluation will provide the best results and ultimately the most conservative treatment long-term.
If your child has not been seen for an orthodontic evaluation, please give us a call for a complimentary examination at 215-398-0794. Even if your child is older than 7, it’s never too late.