While there is no exact age that children "should" begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist for the first time around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, making it easier for Dr. Parker and Dr. Moore to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in more straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Minimize the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and tongue thrust issues and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Asymmetrical loss of baby teeth or eruption of permanent teeth
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation with Dr. Parker and Dr. Moore. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.