While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. Dr. Miller feels this age is too abritrary, and believes he can trust parents to follow this simple Rule of Thumb: Look for the four front adult teeth have grown in, or should have grown in by now. If there is a question it's better to either come in and have Dr. Miller check, or ask your child's Dentist at the next cleaning.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Signs that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.