When is the best time to bring my child to the orthodontist?
For every patient there is an optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment. While it is true an orthodontist like Drs. Eckstein and Yusupov can enhance a smile at any age, the correct timing of orthodontic therapy for children can greatly improve the results in ones smile. A variety of reasons bring patients to visit an orthodontist. Most patients initially see an orthodontic consultation because they are unhappy with the appearance of their smile or because their general dentist recommended they seek an orthodontic evaluation.
The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) has made specific recommendations for children. They recommend that all children should seek an orthodontist by age 7. While most children will not require treatment at this age, Drs. Yusupov and Eckstein will be able to determine when is the most advantageous time to begin orthodontic treatment. Certain malocclusions are best treated early rather than later.
Early Orthodontic treatment also known as phase I or Interceptive therapy is directed at the treatment of malocclusions that are caused by your child’s growth pattern or skeletal discrepancy. Orthodontists can use appliances to modify and direct your child’s growth to a more favorable pattern, eliminating their malocclusion. Beginning orthodontic care at an ppropriate time for children will ultimately ensure the best result and reveal the beautiful smile within all of us.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening nips issues in the bud and helps maintain that incredible smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
- Reduces the possibility of removing permanent teeth in order to correct overcrowding
- Lowers the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth and other malpositioned teeth
- Guides jaw growth and permanent teeth into more favorable positions
- Manages crowding and spacing problems
- Corrects harmful habits
- Improves appearance and self-esteem
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthy child.
Should Children under the age of 7 seek orthodontic care?
While it could never hurt to have a orthodontic treatment, very young children under the age of 6 are most often better served by waiting until they are dentally and emotionally more mature.
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