Why is early orthodontic treatment important?

Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have their first appointment with an orthodontist when they are 7 years old. Not many people even think of the orthodontist when it comes to taking care of their child’s teeth. That is, at least, until they notice that there is a problem. By then, there may be more extensive treatment plans that are necessary to address the issues.

By getting your child started in early orthodontic treatment, you may be saving them from years of embarrassing issues associated with their teeth and smile. You may also be helping to reduce or prevent more aggressive necessary treatments later on to address oral issues. An orthodontist can also help to ensure that poor oral habits don’t get started or are addressed as soon as they are discovered.

When you get your child started in early orthodontic treatment, the foundation for a healthy mouth and beautiful smile is being laid. The orthodontist can essentially keep an eye on their oral development at every stage and be able to address concerns sooner, rather than later. The more you can do to help guide your child to a healthy smile and teeth, the better off they will be!

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic evaluation at age 7. The reason being is that many of the permanent teeth are erupting at this age and the bite is starting to develop. An orthodontic evaluation will help determine if there are any serious problems developing. If so, treatment at this age may be easier and simpler than waiting until later when the problem may become more complicated and more difficult to treat.

Issues like large skeletal discrepancies, missing permanent teeth, severe crowding, ectopic eruptions, impacted teeth, and crossbites can be addressed in early orthodontic treatment. If treatment is not recommended yet, at least the orthodontist and the parents are aware of any issues that will need to be addressed in the future and an appropriate treatment plan can be made.

Problems like skeletal jaw discrepancies must be taken care of using growth modification. This type of treatment is best done while the patient is young and still has a fair amount of growth left. Other problems like missing permanent teeth and crossbites can lead to more serious complicated problems if not addressed early.
Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14.

Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. Not correcting an abnormal bite could result in further oral health problems

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.