The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up: No Later than Age 7

The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up: No Later than Age 7

Written by American Association of Orthodontists
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Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

  • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
  • While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
  • The check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
  • Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
  • In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
  • Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
    • guide jaw growth
    • lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
    • correct harmful oral habits
    • improve appearance
    • guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
    • improve the way lips meet
  • Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity
    for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.