Orthodontics can correct issues with the alignment and spacing of teeth and jaws at any age. However, there are benefits to beginning treatment while teeth are still developing.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Though treatment may not be needed now, early intervention allows Dr. Nikky Shotwell to monitor your child’s teeth as they grow. This way, we can ensure timely detection of any orthodontic issues.
Early detection of issues allows more efficient and effective treatment. Your child’s first adult molars begin to erupt around age 7. These molars establish the back of the bite and proper alignment for the teeth. This provides framework for evaluating the relationships between front and back teeth and between left and right side teeth.
By screening at age 7, Dr. Shotwell can watch for potential issues as teeth develop. Some of these orthodontic issues may include:
- Overbite – top teeth sit substantially farther forward than bottom teeth when teeth are closed
- Underbite – bottom teeth sit farther forward than top teeth when teeth are closed
- Open bite – front teeth do not come together when back teeth are closed
- Cross bite – top teeth do not properly align with bottom teeth
- Crowding – teeth overlap and become crooked due to lack of space
There are many immediate and long-term advantages to interceptive treatment. Some of the benefits early orthodontic intervention can provide include:
- Correcting teeth crowding
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Minimizing risk for trauma by correcting protruding front teeth
- Providing sufficient space for newly-erupting teeth
- Preventing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing duration of treatment for adolescent or adult orthodontics
- Improving self-esteem and confidence
If you have a child aged 7 or older who needs orthodontic evaluation, contact our office to schedule an appointment for a consultation.