When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics can be used to treat bite problems and crooked smiles at any age, but there are benefits to undergoing treatment as early as possible. When orthodontic treatment begins in childhood, the result can be greater effectiveness and efficiency, getting results in a shorter period of time. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the initial orthodontic evaluation should happen at the age of 7. Your child may not need orthodontic treatment at this point, but this examination can show us early signs of orthodontic problems and help us determine the age at which your child should begin treatment if needed.
Why age 7?
Early evaluation allows for the most comprehensive treatment, giving us a chance to discover problems early and create a plan for the most effective results. If we don’t find problems at the age of 7, we can continue to monitor your child’s smile going forward; timely screenings make for great smiles.
At the age of 7, the adult molars have started to erupt, and the bite is finally beginning to develop. That means that the orthodontist can look at the relationship of all of the teeth, looking for signs of problems like overbite, openbite, or crowding. If we see the early signs of a problem, we can provide interceptive orthodontic treatment to keep issues from developing into complex problems.
The advantages of interceptive treatment include:
- Creating room in the mouth for erupting teeth
- Encouraging facial symmetry
- Lowering the chances of injury to protruding teeth
- Saving space from unerupted teeth
- Lessening the risk of the need to remove teeth
- Shortening treatment time
Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about making a smile more attractive; with orthodontic treatment, we can fix bad bites and encourage excellent oral health and function. Crowding can contribute to increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Protruding teeth are more prone to trauma and damage. Crossbites can cause uneven tooth wear, and openbites can contribute to speech impediments and bad habits like tongue thrusting.
Contact Valley Fair Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in San Jose to schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation today! We serve families from Santa Clara, Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, Mountain View, Rose Garden, Willow Glen, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, and surrounding towns as well.