When should my child visit an orthodontist?
If you’re wondering whether it’s too late to schedule your child with an orthodontist, don’t worry– while the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial visit at age seven, there are orthodontic options for kids at every stage of development. The earlier your child is able to receive an orthodontic exam, the easier the treatment plan will typically be.
What if my child still has baby teeth?
Early orthodontic treatment– also known as “Phase 1” treatment– is recommended for 1 in 3 children, and centers around treating any developmental issues a child faces when transitioning from their “baby teeth” to their adult teeth. Oftentimes, breaking a child’s orthodontic treatment into two separate phases can create a more comfortable experience and better results.
What are the benefits of Phase I?
The benefits of Phase 1 treatment can include:
- Fixing crooked teeth and improving the overall appearance of a child’s developing smile
- Preventing any issues with a child’s bite from getting worse in the future
- Reducing the length and difficulty of Phase II treatment (comprehensive orthodontic treatment)
- Lessen the odds of a child requiring future extractions or dental surgical procedures
WHAT IF AN ORTHODONTIST DETERMINES MY CHILD DOESN’T NEED PHASE 1 TREATMENT? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
If your orthodontist determines your child isn’t in need of Phase 1 treatment, they will typically schedule a complimentary follow-up appointment every six months to monitor your child’s orthodontic development and make sure that treatment is started at the right time. In most cases, kids begin comprehensive orthodontic treatment after all permanent teeth have erupted– usually around the age of 11.