What is the Ideal Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatment?

Brit Reagin

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some children need to enter treatment in elementary school, while others are well into middle school before intervention is ideal. Interesting though is that there is a one-size-fits-all-answer as to when a child should first be evaluated by an orthodontist. An evaluation should take place at age seven, according to The American Association of Orthodontists.

The first adult molars are often coming in around age seven and evaluation at that time can assess if there is something that may become a problem down the road and steps can be taken early to prevent the problem from developing.  A child’s bite can be examined and potential crowding can be seen at this point. If treatment is not recommended at the initial evaluation, Dr. Reagin will recommend when a child should be seen again for continued monitoring.

Advantages of early evaluation and possible treatment are:

Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth

Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth

Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth

Preserving space for unerupted teeth

Reducing the need for tooth removal

Reducing treatment time with braces

Correcting bite problems that can lead to chewing difficulties, speech impediments and likelihood of chipping teeth.

Early treatment is not necessary in every case, but establishing a relationship with an orthodontist and beginning a regular evaluation schedule can ensure that treatment will begin at the optimal time to make the most difference in a child’s bite and smile.

Dr. Reagin provides a free consultation to all new patients. Call the office today and make an appointment for you child.

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