Kids… join our 7&Up Club!
Odhner Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend all children have an initial evaluation with a child orthodontist at 7 years old. This is not so we can put braces on your child. In fact, we recommend some form of orthodontic treatment in only a small fraction of the children we see. This appointment helps to identify developing or existing orthodontic issues.
Why 7 Years Old?
Around age 6 or 7, some of the adult, permanent front teeth have come in as well as the first set of adult molars. At this stage, a child orthodontist can identify how a child’s bite is likely to develop over the following years. With the help of a panoramic x-ray and careful examination, we can identify if your child is missing any adult teeth and any deviations from normal tooth eruption, which may lead to complications down the road.
What if you were able to prevent your child from needing braces?
If needed, “early treatment” or “phase one treatment” might be the recommended orthodontic care for your 7-10 year old child. The goals of early orthodontic treatment are to correct the issue in less than a year and then periodically evaluate the need for braces later in the early teen years.
The most common types of early orthodontic treatment involve braces on the front teeth, a palatal expander, retainer, or a combination of these. If your child shows signs of dental crowding, we may recommend a simple “space maintainer” to take advantage of this great timing. This can help to minimize dental crowding and tooth “crookedness” in the adult teeth.