Screening By Age 7
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
Orthodontists can detect subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
A check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, it may determine that early treatment is indicated to prevent more serious problems from developing. Also, Dr. Held may identify a developing problem to watch for, but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development to begin treatment at an older age.
Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, Dr. Held will be able to achieve results that may not be possible if treatment is begun at a later age, after losing time and growth potential of the face and jaws.
If indicated, Early Treatment will give Dr. Held the opportunity to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips, and face
Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you will be giving your child the best opportunity for a beautiful, healthy 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, Dr. Held's goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.
Problems to Watch for in Growing Children
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Speech difficulties
- Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
- Facial imbalance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Final treatment decisions should be made among the parents, child's dentist, and Dr. Held.