Based on the recommendation from the American Association of Orthodontists, we advise that children receive their first orthodontic screening by age seven or at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem. By seeing your child early on, we’ll be able to recognize potential problems and correct them before they become more serious.
Early orthodontic treatment has proven to be highly effective because younger children are generally more receptive to it and their jaws and bone structures have not fully formed. This advantage allows us to guide and influence jaw growth to prevent major procedures in the future, such as jaw surgery or the extraction of permanent teeth.
Initial Evaluations & Personalized Treatments
During your child’s initial evaluation, we will first determine if there are any orthodontic problems that need to be addressed, such as crowding, an open bite, an overbite, missing teeth, or a gummy smile. It is quite possible that immediate treatment won’t be necessary; however, if treatment is recommended, we will create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to your child’s unique case. No two cases are exactly the same, so early orthodontic treatment varies between each patient. The most common types of early treatment may include removable or fixed appliances that can:
- Provide more room for crowded teeth
- Preserve space for unerupted teeth
- Create facial symmetry by positively influencing jaw growth
- Reduce the possibility of tooth extraction
- Reduce overall treatment time in braces
If persistent thumb and finger sucking is an issue, we can help. It is usually easy to help a child quit the habit before any real damage is done. However, persistent thumb and finger sucking habits beyond age five or six can cause significant changes to tooth alignment or jaw deformation. Learn more about resolving thumb sucking habits.