Orthodontics for Children
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated the orthodontist around age seven, or about the time permanent incisors appear. At this time, we are able to identify developing problems that may require treatement, and to advise the family of the best overall time to begin treatment.
Just because the child is seen at age 7 does not necessarily mean the best time to treat is then, but it is reassuring for the family to know what conditions exist that may benefit from care, either at that time or later.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straighter
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Reduce the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve speech problems
For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Come see us; the first appointment is without charge, so the information you receive is both free and informational.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Severe protrusion of the upper front teeth
- Underbite of the upper front teeth
- Very narrow upper or lower jaws that do not fit well together
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not touch at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Very poor facial contours
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your son or daughter a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.