The earlier we catch problems with your child’s bite, the simpler they are to fix. The results are often better than if we wait and require less work. We may not need to keep braces on your child for as long when they are younger, which means less expense for you.
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children visit an orthodontist as soon as their dentist notices that there might be a problem or at age seven years old. We may not have to do anything at this age, other than monitor tooth eruption patterns and facial growth. However, if we continue to see your child, we can start treatment at the age when it is needed the most! The earlier we catch problems with your child’s bite, the simpler they are to fix. The results are often better than if we wait and require less work.
You may wonder why the AAO emphasizes age seven. At that age, the first adult molars are coming in and helping establish the bite. We can then evaluate your child’s bite, both front-to-back and side-to-side. There are many reasons to start treatment early.
Early treatment allows us to do the following:
- Make room for the permanent teeth when there is overcrowding
- Ensure facial symmetry
- Reduce trauma when the front teeth are protruding
Also, early treatment reduces the need to remove adult teeth and reduces the time patients must wear braces. In some cases, without early treatment, you may have to deal the following problems according to AAO studies:
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth (such as the chin growing to one side or being too far forward as in an underbite) and uneven tooth wear.
- Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
- Bullying at school with very crooked, protruding, or spaced teeth.
We truly believe that orthodontic care is about more than just a pretty smile. We believe that it makes you healthier. If you have any questions about orthodontic care, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (601) 833-4912.