What is the Right Age to See the Orthodontist?

children's orthodontics

You may have noticed that children are starting braces younger these days. Did you know that the ideal age for children to be seen by a Tampa orthodontist for the first time is age seven? According to the American Association of Orthodontists, most problems can be identified by that age.

Here’s what we evaluate at your child’s first appointment:

  • Tooth loss and eruption: deviations may be a red flag that a developmental issue exists. By age seven, for instance, your child should have at least four permanent molars and four permanent incisors.
  • Crowding and spacing: is space a problem? One easy solution is to expand the arch of the roof of the mouth with the use of an expander—which is extremely effective.
  • Alignment: did you know crooked teeth will wear differently than straight teeth? They are also more susceptible to trauma and affect gum tissue.
  • Underbites, crossbites, overbites: Let’s start with protrusive front teeth. When teeth stick out farther than is safe or attractive, as part of phase 1 orthodontic treatment, we can reduce the severity and make later treatment easier and faster. It’s important to fix all of these bite issues as soon as possible to avoid damage to the front teeth and to prevent bite shifting.children's orthodontics

Why do we evaluate your child?

There are all kinds of ways we can address issues early. For instance, removing baby teeth or using spacers can prevent more serious issues later.

The other biggie is thumb or finger sucking or a tongue habit that can prevent normal development from occurring. The sooner we fix those habits, the better.

The long and short of it

We recommend that you screen your child at age seven. Any condition can be corrected as early as possible, saving them time and discomfort in the long run. Although in some cases, the child may wait until all permanent teeth are in, if your child requires treatment sooner, you will have gotten ahead of it. Isn’t it worth your child’s well-being and developing self-image to set them up for success?

Call us to schedule your child’s first appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

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