Early (Interceptive) Treatment
Along with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that a child receive first orthodontic screening by age 7. In our office, most interceptive orthodontic treatment occurs when children are between 7 and 9 years old, once their six year molars and some of their incisors have come in.
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result, and orthodontic problems that are identified at an early age stand a better chance of being corrected. Since a young child’s permanent teeth have not finished growing, we are able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and address any impending problem at its earliest stage. Crowding, spacing, and bite issues – including crossbites, underbites, overbites, and narrow palates – are frequently addressed with interceptive treatment. Correcting these problems early on leads to better mouth function as well as improved appearance and self esteem!
We consider the adolescent years, specifically between 11 and 15 years old, an optimal time for orthodontic treatment! Most children at this age already have all of their adult teeth, but their bodies are still growing rapidly. This means that we can evaluate bites, alignment, and spacing based on permanent teeth, and then address any orthodontic issues while the face and jaw are still growing and changing. Orthodontists can take advantage of adolescent growth spurts to more easily correct any issues, and pre-teens and teenagers tend to have particularly high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time.
Additionally, orthodontic treatment is very common during adolescence, which can help make your children feel more comfortable with treatment. It’s an experience they are sharing with their peers, and they may feel less self-conscious about any appliances.
Despite our recommendations for early and adolescent treatment, you’re never too old to see an orthodontist! Tooth alignment can be changed at any age, if your gums and bone structure are healthy. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important! Problems with teeth can lead to other health problems, including headaches and jaw join (TMJ/TMD) pain.
We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. In fact, roughly twenty-five percent of our patients are adults! Schedule your consultation today!