Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

While an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the best result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, Dr. West 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. Early intervention following timely detection of problems helps create a more effective treatment plan, which guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

Some of the results of interceptive 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 in braces

At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but Dr. West will be able to determine when the appropriate time to begin treatment by observing your child’s growth and development every six months to a year.

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Jacob – West Orthodontics Patient