According to the American Association of Orthodontists. Your child SHOULD see an orthodontist no later than age 7 (for a screening only) in order to determine if he or she can benefit from early treatment.
Phase 1 Orthodontics can be used when a child still has some of their baby teeth and before all of their permanent teeth have erupted. It will usually consist of braces or a simpler orthodontic appliance. While it might be easy to think that misaligned baby teeth are harmless because they’ll eventually fall out, this is far from true. The baby teeth actually play an important role in clearing the path for the permanent teeth as well as enabling your child to eat, speak, and breathe comfortably.
Your regular dentist is an excellent resource who can tell you whether your child, regardless of age, would be a good candidate for seeing an orthodontist.
Here are some things to look for:
- Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Speaking issues
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude, or are recessed
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
Even if your child doesn’t exhibit any of these symptoms, they may still be able to benefit from early intervention known as Phase 1 Orthodontics.
How? A child is constantly growing and changing, and just because they don’t need orthodontics now doesn’t mean they won’t need them later. Early orthodontic appointments also help our doctors determine when as well as if your child needs treatment. By correctly timing your child’s treatment our doctors will be able to achieve the more ideal results with less intervention and ideally, a shorter treatment time.