Early intervention by an orthodontist can prevent the need for more extensive treatment at a later time. Therefore, your child should have his or her first consultation with such a specialist by age six or seven.
At that point, enough of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted for the orthodontist to identify potential problems that will develop with the smile’s alignment, as well as the positioning of the jaws. Yet, the development can be manipulated in a way that will address any anticipated issues.
For example, an orthodontist can intervene to correct a malocclusion in a relatively young child, and this objective can be accomplished using relatively simple appliances. In contrast, an older teen might need surgery to address a problem with the bite if orthodontic treatment has been delayed.
Although an elementary aged child is appropriate for an evaluation, braces may not necessarily be the first approach to treatment. Other appliances may be more suitable. In fact, early intervention may make braces unnecessary.
Some children may not appear to need any treatment at this initial evaluation. In these cases, it’s still worthwhile to establish a baseline so that if any concerning changes emerge later, the specialist will have a better understanding of the shift that occurred.
This initial consultation should not be scary or cause anxiety for your child. The provider will merely examine the child’s teeth and take some photos and x-rays and possibly dental impressions. Nothing that takes place at this visit will cause discomfort for your child. In fact, such a consultation gives your child the chance to interact with the provider in a relaxed setting and establish a positive relationship.
Ideally, children will visit a specialist in orthodontics by the time they turn 6 or 7. Such timing allows for early intervention, which can eliminate the need for extensive interventions to reposition the teeth at a later time. If your child is around this age, contact Bunn Orthodontic Group at 210-921-9191 to schedule an initial consultation with our team.