For Children

for children

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7 to determine if orthodontic treatment is required. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time, and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. While only a few conditions need to be treated at this age, an early exam allows the orthodontist to offer guidance as to when the patient may be ready for treatment. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can often simplify later treatment.

While braces can be worn at any age, the ideal time for orthodontics is age 11-14. At this time most of the permanent teeth have come in, and the patient is usually in a growing spurt, which the orthodontist can use to help correct certain types of malocclusions.

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