“What age should your child have an Orthodontic evaluation?”
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, kids should have an initial orthodontic screening at age 7.
Keep in mind that early evaluation is rarely followed by early treatment:
- In most cases we monitor your child's growth patterns until the ideal time for treatment to begin. This allows us to treat them in the most efficient way.
Treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around age 9-14, when all of the baby teeth are gone and permanent ones are in place.
Here are some conditions that are much easier to treat if they're caught at an early age:
- Crossbite: when the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth.
If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment or even jaw surgery might be needed.
- Severe crowding: when the jaws are too small for all of the permanent teeth. Either palatal expansion or tooth extraction may be recommended at this point, to allow space for the adult teeth.
Even if braces are required later, the treatment time will be reduced.
- Protruding teeth: especially in front, can be prone to chipping and fractures; they can also lead to problems with a child's self-image.
- Underbite: caused by the lower jaw growing much larger than the upper jaw.
Early intervention can help to reduce the chance of needing surgical correction at a later age.
- Thumb, tongue, or lip habit: Eliminating these habits early can prevent severe alignment problems later in life.