CHILDREN & TEENS

When Should Children Get Orthodontic Treatment?

Children as early as 5 or 6 years old can benefit from an pediatric orthodontic examination. Orthodontic treatment may not be needed at this age. However, some preventative procedures are often necessary. Generally, by the age of 7, many children have a mixture of primary and permanent teeth. Some children inherit orthodontic problems from their parents. Common problems children may experience include crowding, protruding teeth, missing or extra teeth, too much space between teeth, and occasionally problems with jaw growth. Other malocclusions or bad bites develop gradually. Malocclusions can develop as a result of: poor oral hygiene and nutrition, accidents, finger or thumb-sucking or dental disease. Abnormal swallowing, as well as the early or late loss of baby teeth can also be factors that contribute to the development of bad bites.

Medical problems like birth deficiencies and trauma can also contribute to orthodontic problems. In some cases acquired problems can make genetic malocclusions worse. Whatever the problem, Drs. Blacker and Williams are capable of successfully treating most cases. As pediatric orthodontic specialists, they have received training that enables them to recognize subtle problems with jaw growth and developing teeth while primary teeth are still present.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Some problems may be easier to correct if they are identified early. Delaying treatment until the permanent teeth erupt may make correction of some conditions more difficult.

But my Child has Straight Teeth

Although your child's teeth may seem to be straight, there may be a problem present that only Drs. Blacker or Williams can identify. The evaluation may reveal that your child's bite is fine; which is good news. Even if the evaluation reveals a problem is present, Drs. Blacker or Williams will monitor your child's growth and development, to determine the best time to initiate treatment.

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