When should treatment begin?
The most ideal age for a first exam is is the age of 7. This is because patients will generally have a mix of permanent and baby teeth, allowing the orthodontist to see how the adult smile is beginning to take shape.
Seeing an orthodontist at this age doesn’t mean treatment will necessarily begin right away, but the orthodontist can monitor your child so that treatment can begin at the most ideal time to have the most impact.
At the initial consultation, we take digital images, as well as perform an examination. The orthodontist can see not only what is currently happening in the mouth, but what is below the surface, waiting to erupt.
We’ll look for issues in the growth of the jaw, and be sure baby teeth are falling out properly and permanent teeth are erupting properly. If we spot any issues, we can create a treatment plan to address the issue. Early intervention can typically lessen the severity or even prevent of future issues because we can guide the growth of the jaw and create an environment that is more ideal for the permanent teeth to erupt.
Orthodontic treatment can begin at any age, however, we recommend seven because we can have the most impact on the smile when the jaw is still growing. If the orthodontic issues are caused by discrepancies in jaw growth, we can make the necessary steps to guide the jaw and create a more harmonious bite. Treatment received after the jaw has stopped growing is often more involved and can require the need for surgery.