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At What Age Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

A girl smiling with braces.Orthodontic treatment used to seem normal around the teenage years, but today, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that kids seek orthodontic treatment as early as age seven. While this might seem much earlier than usual, it is considered the optimal time to give children a pre-screening to determine the health of a child's mouth. The earlier that children and parents are aware of what is going on in a child's mouth, the less invasive future treatments need to be to ensure a healthy mouth well into adulthood.

Preventative Measures

One of the primary reasons for an early orthodontic screening is to determine if your child needs treatment. In some cases, when preventative measures are taken, a child can avoid getting braces in the future or at the very least, require them for a shorter amount of time. Of course, it is not always possible to prevent the need for braces, but being informed early of your child's orthodontic needs can help them be prepared for treatment.

Preparing Parents

Another important reason for early orthodontic treatment is to inform parents of the impending future treatment for their children. The initial appointments with an orthodontist are typically simple screenings that allow the dentist to check their oral health and see how their teeth and jaws are developing. Seeking orthodontic treatment at an early age does not mean braces under no uncertain terms. What it does mean, however, is the chance to give your child their best chance at straight teeth, a pleasant smile and an easier time with speech development.
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