Many parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to see Dr. Karl for a consultation, only to discover treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Did you know the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven?
Ok, so what’s so great about age seven, you ask? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for Dr. Karl to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” This is a great age for Dr. Karl to see if expansion of the jaw is going to be necessary for the healthiest bite! Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites and open bites can be detected.
Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind. So, even if your child may not be ready for orthodontic treatment, we like to get a good idea of the “map” of his or her orthodontic needs later on. We will continue to see our children patients every 3-4 months to check for proper growth and patterns so that Dr. Karl can determine if and when it’s best to start a treatment plan!
Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene. So, if your child is nearing his or her seventh birthday, just remember: 7-Up!
If it’s about that time for your child, please give us a call to schedule an appointment for a consultation!