Your child might be too young for braces, but if permanent teeth have erupted, it’s not too early for an orthodontic evaluation. Most children do not require braces or any other type of orthodontic appliance until most or all their baby teeth have been replaced by adult teeth. However, there are some situations in which early intervention can help reduce the length of time braces must be worn later.
It’s never too early to learn as much as possible about your child’s oral health. And, it’s important to remember that just because you visit an orthodontist for an early evaluation does not mean you’re going to be told that your child needs braces next week. The primary purpose of an evaluation is to give you professional insight into your child’s orthodontic prognosis.
Detecting Problems at a Young Age
There are very few people who are born with perfectly aligned permanent teeth. Some of the most common problems that require orthodontic treatment include:
- Cross Bite
- Spacing Issues
- Crooked Teeth
- Too Much Space
- Extra Teeth
- Missing Teeth
- And More…
An evaluation at a young age can help you understand potential orthodontic issues that may develop in the future. Even if orthodontic treatment is not recommended at the young age of six or seven, taking a “wait and see” approach can be very insightful.
Planning for Braces
When we evaluate your child at an early age, there is ample time to plan for the right type of treatment at precisely the right time. Even though braces can be worn at any age, there is an optimal time for orthodontic treatment – which can vary from one child to another – but it is typically before the child completely stops growing.
By bringing your child in for an orthodontic evaluation when he or she is around the age of seven, you will have the benefit of being able to plan for braces. In many cases, planning for braces involves visiting us every three, six or 12 months for a follow-up appointment to keep close tabs on the development of your child’s teeth.
Peace of Mind
As a parent, you might look at your child’s smile and wonder if the tooth that looks crooked is going to cause major problems for your child as he or she grows older. Or, you might have noticed that your child’s thumb sucking habit is causing your child’s teeth to protrude in an unusual way.
We will address these issues, and others, during your child’s initial evaluation. The purpose of an early-age evaluation is to provide you with guidance and a proposed treatment plan for your child – even if treatment will not begin for several years.
Consultations are Complimentary
We offer free evaluations to patients of any age. And you do not need a referral from a general dentist to schedule an appointment. We offer complimentary consultations even if you’ve started orthodontic treatment at another office.
It’s never too early to gain a better understanding of your child’s oral health. Starting orthodontic treatment at the optimal time can help make your child’s time in braces faster and easier.