When to visit the Orthodontist

Orthodontist Chandler Gilbert

The Right Time to Visit the Orthodontist: No Later Than Age 7

Although most parents are under the impression that the best time to take their child for an orthodontic check-up is during their teen or pre-teen years, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that parents take their children to the orthodontist by the age of seven, as this is the ideal time for spotting problems related to emerging teeth and jaw growth. Since individuals differ in terms of physiological development as well as treatment needs, taking your child for an orthodontic check-up or evaluation at the age of 7 could very well be your chance of giving him/her the lifetime gift of having a beautiful, healthy smile.

Benefits of seeking Orthodontic Treatment for your Child at Age 7

-Early Interception and Treatment of Serious Orthodontic Problems

An orthodontist is capable of spotting subtle problems that you as a parent may not be able to notice while some baby/milk teeth are still present. Although your child’s teeth may seem to be straight to the untrained eye, a problem which only an orthodontist can detect may be developing. However, when emerging bite problems are identified and treated early, other more serious problems can be intercepted.

-Fewer Future Visits to the Orthodontist
-Patients who seek early orthodontic interventions are noted to require shorter, less frequent, and less complicated orthodontic treatment in the future.
-Prevent Irreversible Orthodontic Damage

Bad oral habits which are common among children below the age of 7 such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and breathing via the mouth are noted to lead to the development of orthodontic problems that are sometimes irreversible when a child is older and the jaws and face have completely developed. As such, it is vital that symptoms and signs of such problems be identified early.

What to Expect from your Child’s Orthodontic Check-up

The check-up may indicate that your child’s bite is normal or he/she may identify an emerging problem. If a problem is identified, the orthodontist may recommend that your child’s growth and development be monitored so that the treatment required commences at the appropriate time for your child.

In other cases, the orthodontist may recommend the start of early treatment in which your orthodontist may get a chance to:

-correct your child’s harmful oral habits
-guide jaw growth
-lower the risk of trauma to your child’s protruded front teeth
-improve your child’s appearance e.g. by enhancing the way your child’s lips meet
-help guide your child’s permanent teeth into favorable positions

Important Note: Remember that even if your child is more than 7 years old, you should not neglect taking him/her for an orthodontic check-up. Children older than 7 are still eligible for orthodontic treatment.

-Dr. Stephen Hunsaker and the Team at Aspen Orthodontics
3 Convenient Locations, Chandler, Queen Creek and Maricopa.