The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial evaluation at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than the age of seven. We’re inclined to agree. Those guys know what they’re talking about and it would be really awkward at orthodontist parties if we were to say any different. After all, seven is the age first adult molars appear, establishing the posterior occlusion or bite.
Left to their own devices, teeth can be just like the child they belong to. You can’t be sure where they’ll end up, but you can bet it won’t be good if you don’t check in on them once in awhile. Further action may not be necessary, but these examinations can still detect potential issues and anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
This approach helps guide growth and development, preventing serious problems later.
Some of the most direct results of early treatment include:
- Creating room for crowded teeth
- Correcting teeth that grow to cause a crossbite
- Reducing the risk of trauma to the front teeth
- Preserving space for teeth that haven’t grown in yet
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Influencing jaw growth for better facial symmetry