The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7.
Why Early Treatment?
Treatment During the adolescent growth spurt period provides an opportunity to favorably influence the facial profile in a growing child. Once growth of the facial bones is complete, correction of jaw discrepancies usually requires surgery. For this reason, early treatment may save considerable time, money, and eliminate the need for surgery.
Early care can offer the following benefits:
- Guide the jaws and erupting teeth into more favorable positions.
- Improve the growth and alignment of the jaws.
- Preserve space for the permanent teeth.
- Minimize the need for extracting permanent teeth.
- Reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.
- Correct harmful oral habits.
- Improve some speech problems.
- Reduce the likelihood of impacted teeth.
- Improve aesthetics and self-esteem.
Signs Pointing to Early Screening
An asymmetrical smile, teeth that meet abnormally, crowding, early or late loss of baby teeth, difficulty in chewing or biting, and displaced teeth are all signs that early orthodontic treatment may benefit your child. Habits such as thumb or finger sucking and mouth breathing also indicate a potential need for early intervention. If your child exhibits any of these conditions or behaviors, it is important to schedule his or her orthodontic screening as soon as possible. Being proactive now will save you time and money in the long run and secure your child’s orthodontic health for the future.