The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. HERE’S WHY:
• Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while
• While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that
• A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may iden-
tify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and devel-opment, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for thechild. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit fromearly treatment.
• Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing
and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases,the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once theface and jaws have finished growing.
• Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
Guide jaw growthLower the risk of trauma to protruded front teethCorrect harmful oral habitsImprove appearanceGuide permanent teeth into a more favorable positionCreate a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
• Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best
opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. www.braces.org 1-800-STRAIGHT
2004 American Association of Orthodontists
Malocclusions (“bad bites”) like those illustrated below, may benefit from early diagnosis and referral to an orthodontic specialist for a full evaluation. CROSSBITE OF FRONT TEETH CROSSBITE OF BACK TEETH CROWDING Top teeth are to the inside of bottom teethOPEN BITE PROTRUSION DEEP BITE Front teeth do not meet when back teethUNDERBITE ORAL HABITS The lower teeth sit in front of upper teethIn addition, if you notice any of the following in your child, check with your orthodontist:
biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
Final treatment decisions should be made among the parent, child’s dentist and orthodontist.
Visit the “About Orthodontics” section of the
American Association of Orthodontists Web site at www.braces.org
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