Well-aligned teeth look good and feel good. They contribute to good dental health and the ability to speak, chew and bite. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to dental problems.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7.
By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing.
Putting off a check-up with an orthodontist until a child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. A check-up no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment
While orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, some children’s orthodontic problems can benefit from earlier treatment. If it appears that your child will need treatment at some point, your orthodontist can advise you about the best time to begin. If early treatment is indicated, it can give your orthodontist the chance to:
• Guide jaw growth
• Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
• Correct harmful oral habits
• Improve appearance and self-esteem
• Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
• Improve the way lips meet
Source: American Association of Orthodontists
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