The Right Time For An Orthodontic Check-Up: No Later Than Age 7
Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they speak about orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.
Why Your Child Should Get An Orthodontic Check-Up No Later Than Age 7:
1. Orthodontists can spot problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
2. The check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Often, the orthodontist will identify a potential problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the right time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
3. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
4. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that wouldn’t be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
5. Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for early examination include:
• Early or late loss of teeth
• Difficulty in chewing or biting
• Mouth breathing
• Thumb sucking
• Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
• Jaws that shift or make sounds
• Speech difficulties
• Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
• Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
• Facial imbalance
• Jaws that are too far forward or back
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth
6. 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 (thumb sucking)
• Improve appearance
• Guide permanent teeth into a more favourable position
• Improve the way lips meet
7. Through early orthodontic screening, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile that’s good for life. No child should wait until reaching the teens to feel good about his or her smile.
October is the Month of Dental Prevention. The American Association of Orthodontists has chosen October as Orthodontic Health Month. It provides the opportunity to educate the public about the benefits of orthodontics, the importance of early orthodontic screening no later than age seven, the lifetime value of orthodontics and orthodontists’ special educational qualifications.
Written by Dr. Daniela Signorelli
*** The material is provided by the American Association of Orthodontists. If anyone is interested in having more information, there is AAO’s website : http://www.braces.org
2 responses to “The Right Time For An Orthodontic Check-Up”
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I have just yesterday finished my sons orthodontics treatment. He is ten now and we started in February! His lower jaw was not big enough and he grinds his teeth so much (I never heard it) that his permanent teeth were already getting used up.
Despite the information you so often get, that it is no worth starting before teens, the orthodontist assured us, that in a growing body it works much quicker. My son (wore the piece all nights long and enlarged it once a week with a special device) wore the piece all night long, the doctor advised us to let him carry it 16 hours a day, but no way would I sent a 9 year old bouncy forgetful boy to school with a 2500 Euro device in his mouth, where on top speaking is not possible. The alignment of the front teeth, which has also improved a lot under the treatment, can only be done now until all grown up teeth have come through. This can only be done when all permanent teeth have shown up, with a permanent glued on device, which is between 12 years for girls and 14 years for boys. I highly recommend to all parents with worries to go ahead before their childs 10th birthday, but 200 Euro seems a lot to me. The initial consultation for us was only 100 Euro, everything else necessary, like photos, specialised round x-rays are included in the price of the device.