While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting an orthodontist by age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
Create more space for crowded teeth
Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
Early or late loss of baby teeth
A hard time chewing or biting food
Finger or thumb sucking
Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Click here to see: Problems to Watch Out For in Growing Children
At Petite Dental, we offer a complimentary new patient orthodontic exam. At this appointment you can expect to meet Dr. Sint and his team. His staff will give you a tour of the office, begin taking orthodontic records (photos and x-ray, as needed) and then listen to your major concerns. Dr. Sint will complete a thorough exam and then discuss whether or not your child could benefit from Orthodontic treatment and when would be the best time to start at no charge.
If your child is not ready for Orthodontic treatment yet, they will automatically become a member of the “Petite Dental Ortho Kids Club,” our free growth and development monitoring program. Members receive a complimentary orthodontic evaluation every 6-12 months with x-ray updates, as needed, in order to make sure no problems are developing. At the very least, you'll get to enjoy the relief that comes with hearing "Nope, your child doesn't need braces."