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How Early Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Posted on December 1, 2022

If you have children, you most likely have been practicing proper dental hygiene with them from a young age. While setting up these habits starts at home, you still need to stay on top of routine dental visits, as well as seeing an orthodontist. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should be visiting an orthodontic practice no later than age seven, and as soon as a problem is first discovered.

At age seven, children should have some baby teeth left to lose, but already have a few adult teeth present. The reason this is the perfect time to see an orthodontist is the doctor can get a better idea of the trajectory of the teeth and overall oral health, by examining both types of teeth. Additionally, they will be able to figure out if there are any adult teeth missing by doing a growth development scan, and determine if the bite is correct. Any potential complications discovered at this stage can be put on a correction plan to prevent worsening issues.

Due to the need for further growth and adult teeth, braces or clear aligners will be a plan for the future, not an immediate plan of action at the first appointment. If it’s needed, treatment in this early stage is usually minimal and only done to lessen the workload needed later on. Typically, braces are applied after age 11, and anytime after when deemed necessary. The first appointment, however, will only be a consultation assuming there are no immediate issues to be addressed.

You do not need to wait for your primary dentist to refer you to an orthodontic practice, regardless of what people may think. You can bring up concerning issues to your child’s dentist, or they may notice them and suggest discussing braces with an orthodontist, but you as a parent can bring your child at any time. Your dentists and orthodontist can work in communication to ensure you get the best plan for your specific needs. If you want to know more about what to expect with your child’s first visit to the orthodontist, give TruSmile a call today!