Best Age for Orthodontics
If you have a child that might need work done on their teeth, you may be wondering what the best age for orthodontics is. Our experienced staff can answer any of your questions relating to this topic.
Best Age for Orthodontics | First Initial Consultation
One of the most popular questions we are asked is, “When should I bring my child to see an orthodontist?” The simple answer is, “The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by age seven because, at that age, the upper and lower adult six-year-old molars are in, as are most of the front incisors. It allows us to get a really good idea of how the child’s jaws are starting to line up and how the teeth are coming in, whether there is any crowding or growth and development problems as far as how the jaws are growing.
The reason for saying that seven – I’ll say between seven and eight – is a good time to see a patient for the first time is that it’s important to see if any abnormalities are going on. We can get involved at that time if we need to, or we can simply keep a close eye on the growth and development of those kids who don’t need to be treated at that age.
Best Age for Orthodontics | Younger vs Older Patients
A lot of times when I meet with patients for the first time or in speaking with people outside the office, they ask me, “What is the age when a patient should be seen by the orthodontist?” The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that patients be screened as early as age seven. At that age, we can identify any contributing problems the patient may have that might require more orthodontics in the future. Although not every patient who comes into the orthodontist’s office at age seven is started in treatment, it is wise to have an educated eye look at the patient to identify factors that may contribute to a need for intervention and begin to make corrections. We can have a much more profound impact on a younger patient than we can on older ones.
Seven years old should not be the only determinant, however. If a parent suspects a problem at an earlier age, or if the child’s general dentist recognizes a problem and wants to make a referral, it is never too early to visit the orthodontist and have a conversation. Many times, we are the first line of defense in identifying tongue dysfunction, breathing problems, and other things that may have been slipping through the cracks in that patient’s healthcare. As a result, since it is important to treat those things, I feel that a patient can come into our office and be evaluated at any age.
If you have any further questions about what the best age for orthodontics is, don’t hesitate to call any of our five WNY locations for a free screening for your child.