At What Age Should Children First Visit The Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. This allows Dr. Riley to determine when orthodontic treatment may be required.
Why Children Are Being Evaluated At Such An Early Age
Early diagnosis and correction of dental problems while a child is young may prevent more serious problems from developing. This will make any subsequent treatment shorter and less complicated. Early treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing teeth.
Early treatment benefits patients physically, enabling them to bite or chew more effectively. It can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for tooth extractions, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
Does Early Treatment Benefit All Children?
Orthodontic care is not a “one size fits all” approach. Each patient has unique issues that require a unique treatment plan. Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child may otherwise require corrective surgery if treated after growth has occurred. Dr. Riley will develop a plan for treatment based on each individual’s needs. If the patient is not yet ready for treatment, they are placed on our orthodontic recall program.
Orthodontic Recall Program
The orthodontic recall program is for patients who are not yet ready for treatment. This program enables us to monitor the eruption pattern of permanent teeth.
We typically see patients on our complimentary recall schedule every 6-12 months to observe their progress as they grow. The treatment will be timed to predictable stages of dental development in order to work with your child’s growth. Dr. Riley will notify your general dentist of any recommendations made during your visit.
In Addition To a Beautiful Smile, What Are The Other Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can improve your child’s smile, enhance self-esteem and correct any functional issues which are present. Straighter teeth promotes better hygiene and healthier gum tissue resulting in longevity of one’s overall health.
If A Child Is Treated Early, Will There Be A Need For Braces As An Adolescent?
Early treatment can begin to correct significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. When early treatment is necessary, all of the permanent teeth have not erupted, therefore their final alignment may need to be corrected once all the permanent teeth are in.
Do We Still Need Regular Visits To Our General Dentist?
Patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances require more effort to keep their teeth and gums clean. Orthodontic treatment requires patients to maintain oral health, receiving regular check-ups and cleanings every 6 months with your general dentist.