When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

Are you wondering when is the best time to get your child an orthodontic evaluation? Whether you’ve noticed that your child’s teeth aren’t coming in straight or your dentist has pointed out some potential problems, it’s a good idea to have your child’s teeth evaluated.

When should you take your child to an orthodontist? Here’s what experts recommend.

Orthodontists Recommend Having an Evaluation Around Age 7

Why is this the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation? For a few different reasons:

  • Some permanent teeth are in. It is important for the orthodontist to see how the permanent teeth are coming in. If there will be excessive crowding or if the permanent teeth are not coming in properly, it is helpful to know this early.
  • 6 year molars have come in. Once the back molars are in place an orthodontist can evaluate the child’s bite pattern and determine what sort of treatment will be required, if any.
  • The jaw is still developing. At age 7 a child’s jaw is still growing and developing. If problems are discovered early, orthodontic treatment can help to reshape the jaw and help it grow in a more desirable way to accommodate the teeth.

It is recommended that all children have an evaluation, not just those with obvious orthodontic issues. There may be problems you are unable to see that could affect the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaw. Most children require at least some orthodontic treatment in their lifetime.

Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Provides Treatment for All Ages

The age of 7 is merely a suggestion. Children may need orthodontic intervention sooner than other children. Severe orthodontic issues can cause potential damage to the existing primary teeth, the permanent teeth that have come in, and even the permanent teeth that have not yet erupted.

If you or your dentist notice any severe orthodontic issues before age 7, it is important to have an evaluation at that time. There is no exact age to start orthodontic treatment. It should take place when it is needed.

Some children will have an evaluation and it will be determined that no action is required at this time. Braces or other orthodontic treatment may need to be applied later, during the adolescent years. Not everyone needs early intervention.

Some Children Will Need Earlier Intervention, Some Later

Early orthodontic intervention has many benefits, such as:

  • Treat current issues. Orthodontic issues start to emerge as early as when the primary teeth come in as well as when they start to fall out and the permanent teeth come in. Some problems need to be addressed right away to allow for proper chewing, speech development, and for appearance and self esteem.
  • Allow permanent teeth to come in properly. Correcting problems with the primary teeth can pave the way for the permanent teeth to come in properly. If there is excessive crowding the larger permanent teeth won’t have enough space to come in unless early intervention is applied to make room.
  • Lessen the length of future treatment. Treating some orthodontic issues early can make future treatment take less time. A child may have a shorter time in braces as a result of early intervention.
  • Potentially avoid having teeth pulled. Sometimes overcrowding can lead to the need for tooth extraction in order to make room, and sometimes it’s permanent teeth. But early intervention can help the jaw to grow in a way that can accommodate all of the teeth, even in a small mouth.
  • Reduce the chances of dental trauma. Some orthodontic issues can increase a child’s chances of tooth damage. For example, an underbite or a crossbite where some of the top teeth meet behind the bottom teeth when the child bites down, puts them at a much greater risk of a tooth trauma in the case of an accident.

Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Provides Treatment for All Ages

It’s not only children who may need orthodontic treatment. Now even adults are choosing to get braces and receive other orthodontic intervention they want and need. Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics sees patients of all ages from children to adolescents to adults. We believe in the importance of orthodontic treatment for all patients who need it.

Call any of our 3 convenient offices to schedule an appointment:

Minnetonka: 952-938-1443

Excelsior: 952-474-0288

Wayzata: 952-473-1993

Or request a complimentary consultation. We look forward to helping you or your child transform your smile.