MIAMI, FLORIDA-The American Dental Association has done a good job of educating the public on when children need to see a dentist-the first tooth or by age one-but what many parents don’t know is the recommended age for an orthodontic evaluation. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation by an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. ”Some parents are surprised at how young that seems, but it’s important to note that it’s just an evaluation-not necessarily starting treatment,” says Dr. Phillip Kaner, who has had a Miami orthodontics practice since 1972.
The majority of children have baby and adult teeth by that age and many bite problems are already apparent. We can check the alignment and mechanics of your child’s teeth, bite and jaw, facial harmony, how the lips meet and the overall appearance of the smile. It’s also an ideal time to discuss dental development and head off bad oral habits before they cause permanent damage.
Scheduling an appointment for your child earlier than 7 is often a good idea if he or she has early or late loss of baby teeth, difficulty in chewing or biting, crowded or misplaced teeth, protruded teeth, anterior or posterior cross bites, a jaw that appears either too far forward or back, oral-digital habits or unbalanced facial appearance.
“There may be an impulse to say they’ll grow out of it, but many problems with jaw development can be fixed and the impact on health and self-confidence averted or minimized,” says Dr. Pedro Alquizar, an invisible braces provider, including Invisalign and clear ceramic braces.
If we do see a situation, you have the option of choosing early treatment, which may prevent more serious problems from developing. It can also mean a shorter and less complicated treatment plan.
We, the Miami orthodontists, recommend talking to your children’s dentist or calling our office to schedule a consultation if you have any questions or concerns about your children’s oral health.
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