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When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

Oct 30, 2014 - 10:10 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Orthodontics
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Young or old, it is always the right time to visit an orthodontist. Whether you are a teenager, middle-aged, or older, it is never too late to work toward a beautiful smile with braces for children or adults.

But, you might be wondering if your child is too young to see an orthodontist. Typically, your general dentist will be able to recommend the right time for an orthodontist visit based on your child’s growth and development. Also, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist by the age of seven.

Why seven?

By the age of seven, children have begun to lose enough baby teeth for an orthodontist to detect possible issues that may arise with the emergence of adult teeth that could require braces for kids. Additionally, problems such as over-bites, under-bites, and cross-bites become more evident at this stage in development. An orthodontist can also begin to correct unhealthy oral habits that may develop at a young age, such as lip sucking and thumb-sucking.

What next?

If the orthodontist does detect a need for orthodontics treatment, then congratulate yourself for catching it early. An early phase of braces for kids might even prevent the need for more extensive treatment later in life. If there is not a pressing need for treatment, your orthodontist will most likely want to track your child’s growth and development. Typically, your child should probably be seen every six months to a year for observation. Again, this will give the orthodontist the opportunity to spot any unhealthy oral issues in a timely manner.

If your child is more than seven years of age, and there seems to be a need for orthodontics, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start achieving a healthy bite and a gorgeous smile.

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