The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children receive an evaluation around age seven. Not all children will need early treatment, but it’s important to have an orthodontist see how things are developing. Certain problems are easier to correct at an early age, so this initial assessment helps set your child on the right path. As well, your orthodontist can assess your child’s development and make sure everything continues on the right track.
Around age seven, your child’s first molars appear, which solidifies the back bite. At this time, the orthodontist can see how the various teeth are in relation to the others, looking for issues such as overbites, crowding, or crossbites. Without correction, orthodontic problems can result in uneven tooth wear, speech impediments, and greater risk of decay or gum disease.
For some children, it’s particularly important to schedule an early evaluation. If you notice the following problems, contact the office of Mehdi Fotovat for an appointment:
• Breathing through the mouth
• Clenching or grinding
• Difficulties with speech
• Extended use of a pacifier
• Spacing problems
• Thumbsucking beyond preschool
Bringing your child to the orthodontist for an early assessment means addressing these issues, or others like them, before they create additional problems. Early treatment can make room for permanent teeth that still need to erupt and also lessen the time needed in braces at a later point. Often, therapy is most successful when treatment is performed while the jaws and face are still growing.