In this month’s article, I revisit the concept of early orthodontic treatment, since one of the most common questions I am asked by parents remains: “What is the correct age for braces?”
To best answer this question, let’s consider the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that a child should receive a checkup with an orthodontic specialist no later than age seven. This is not to say that every 7-year old requires orthodontic treatment. Timing for orthodontic treatment is based on more than chronological age; it is dependent on a number of factors, including dental development, jaw development, the way a patient is biting, as well as aesthetics.
An early evaluation with an orthodontist is important because it allows the identification of potential problems that may require monitoring or, in other cases, early treatment. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases the orthodontist will be able to achieve results at an early age that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Some dental conditions requiring early treatment include crossbites, oral habits, severe overbites, or severe underbites. These situations should be addressed when there is a mix of baby and permanent teeth present, and a second phase of treatment (braces) is typically needed at a later date when the remaining baby teeth fall out. Aside from scenarios such as those mentioned, most of the time a single phase of braces is indicated once all of the baby teeth have fallen out, which is commonly somewhere between the ages of 10-12 but varies greatly from child to child.
At Pinecrest Orthodontics we recommend an early orthodontic evaluation to give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, our goal if to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. Above all we always maintain the philosophy to treat our patients as if they were our own family. Please call Pinecrest Orthodontics today for your complimentary initial orthodontic consultation!
Dr. Rothman is the owner and orthodontist at Pinecrest Orthodontics, located in the Dixie Belle Shops at 12197 S. Dixie Highway in Pinecrest, FL. PH: 305.423.4130 pinecrestortho.com. Please email Dr. Rothman with your orthodontic questions at email@example.com.