Orthodontics for Children
Orthodontics can enhance a smile at any age, but there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning at this time ensures the greatest result with the least amount of time and expense.
The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that all children should be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. They can advise you whether the child will require orthodontic treatment and if so, the best time to treat the problem. By age 7, most first permanent molars and incisors have come in and issues such as crowding and crossbites can be evaluated.
With early interception, orthodontists can influence the growth of the jaws and guide incoming permanent teeth. Orthodontists can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, sometimes avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking and help to eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment and sometimes eliminate the need for later treatment.