There are actually quite a few reasons you should see an orthodontist early – not doing so can have big implications.

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When Should My Child See An Orthodontist?

January 21, 2016
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Written by: Dr. AnnaKate Tatum

When should my child see an orthodontist? The answer may surprise you.

I am an orthodontist and soon-to-be mother of 2.  At dance, gymnastics, preschool, I hear all the time, “My kid’s teeth are straight so we don’t need to see an orthodontist” and “we still have baby teeth so there’s no reason to see you yet.”  While this may seem to make sense, there are actually quite a few reasons you should see an orthodontist early- not doing so can have big implications. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children see an orthodontist at age 7.  Westrock Orthodontics agrees!Early care, or phase I care, is orthodontic care when children still have baby teeth.  I like to tell my patients that every child needs to be seen by age 7. Most of those children will not need early care, but for those who do need it, getting started at the appropriate age is vitally important.  Even if early care is not needed, we get a baseline to monitor their growth and development over the next 3-5 years until it is time for care. We can also give mom and dad peace of mind and education about what may be needed in the future. In certain situations, which I explore below, there is a reason to start early or phase 1 treatment while a child still has baby teeth and is growing.  In those cases, it is paramount that they be seen early so their growth and development can occur with the guidance of an orthodontist. Orthodontists are trained in craniofacial development as well as tooth development. We take into account skeletal growth patterns, muscle an