Orthodontic Evaluation by Age 7

You may think that your child is too young to benefit from orthodontic treatment. And they may very well be. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist by the age of 7.

At this time, baby teeth are being replaced by permanent teeth and it’s a great time to catch any early orthodontic issues. Dental problems related to jaw growth get worse, not better with time. Because children are growing rapidly at this age, young children can benefit tremendously from appliances which can balance the relationship between the upper and lower jaws and develop room for erupting teeth. This allows for easier treatment down the road with less need for extractions or surgery.

How can you tell if your child could benefit from Early Treatment? There are some signs you can look for but ultimately, you should leave it to the professionals. Orthodontists know exactly what to look for. Even if your child seems to have straight teeth, there could be underlying issues that you won’t notice.

Signs to Look for:

  • Protruding Incisors
  • Bite Problems
  • Deep bites
  • Under bites
  • Severe Crowding
  • Jaw Disharmony
  • Open bites
  • Cross bites

Typically, Early Treatment is divided into 2 phases, with each phase beginning at the absolute best time to correct the specific problems.

Phase One occurs between the ages of 7-10 years and consists of active treatment that typically lasts 12-18 months. This phase is directed more at your child’s muscles and jaws than the teeth.

There is a resting period for 12-24 months followed by Phase Two which lasts 12-18 months. During this final phase of treatment, all baby teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. Our focus is on correcting the positions of the teeth, closing spaces, etc.

By seeing an orthodontist early, your child will spend more time with a big, beautiful smile and less time in braces later on. Some children will not need early treatment. If needed, we want to make sure treatment is as comfortable and as fast as possible so your child can live a confident, happy life.

If you would like to see if your child could benefit from Early Treatment, call or text our office at (757) 224-3004 and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Behl so we can determine the most appropriate time to start treatment, if it is necessary.

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