Why Kids Should See an Orthodontist at Age 7
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, even if your child is still losing baby teeth and doesn’t have all of their adult teeth, it’s important to have them seen by an orthodontist at age seven.
Not only can issues be corrected if necessary, but a complete dental record will be created, your child will become accustomed to seeing an orthodontist, and you can set fund aside ahead of time, making it easier if treatment becomes necessary later.
Early Orthodontic Issues
At this age, kids’ jaws are still growing, which makes it easier to fix many orthodontic problems, including:
- Issues with jaw growth
- Narrow top jaw
- Tooth crowding
- Protruding front teeth
While most issues can still be corrected in teens and adults, the treatment is often more difficult because the jaws are fully developed at this age. What could have been fixed with an appliance may require tooth extractions or surgery.
Types of Early Intervention
Also called Phase I orthodontics, early intervention often consists of an appliance or partial set of braces. Palatal expanders can widen narrow upper jaws, making room for adult teeth, or correct a crossbite. A partial set of braces consisting of brackets on the four top teeth and two back teeth can fix protruding front teeth that are at risk of getting injured or are making a child self-conscious.
After Phase I is complete, a child may wear a retainer until it is determined if Phase II (usually braces or Invisalign) is necessary.
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