It’s best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated.
When the orthodontist begins treatment early, she can guide the growth of the jaws and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, in some cases avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.
Most adolescents are ready for orthodontic care when the last few baby teeth are coming out and they are close to their growth spurt. The ideal timing depends on each individual’s growth pattern, so visiting Dr. Carter early can insure that treatment begins at the ideal time for your child.
How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?
It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own.
Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is all we do. Our initial exam is comprehensive and informative, and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.