Every parent wants the best for their child. A common question seems to concern the right time to initiate orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children be screened at age 7. The reason for this is that there may be developmental difficulties that are not yet apparent to you or your dentist.
Reasons to start early treatment include:
- Severe crowding
- Severe growth discrepancies such as over jet (often mistakenly called over bite) and deep bites
- Under bites or cross bites
- Impacted canines or other impacted teeth
- Habits such as thumb sucking and mouth breathing
- Psychological or self-esteem issues
Many times, early intervention will prevent the need for more complicated and costly future treatments, extractions, damage to permanent teeth, facial asymmetries, joint disorders and psychological damage due to peer influence. At a young age, intervention can achieve things that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. Most orthodontists who recommend early treatment do so purely for the sake of their patient. If a child is made to wait until their permanent dentition fully erupts, treatment time and cost can often be greater than with early intervention. As a parent, having peace of mind is invaluable. By seeing an orthodontist early, a parent can know that they have given their child a start to a beautiful, healthy smile.