When To See An Orthodontist

An evaluation by our orthodontic specialists is recommended if any problems with the teeth or jaw development are seen by the patient, parent, dentist or physician.

In the absence of a particular problem, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children should get an orthodontic checkup no later than age 7. This is when the permanent molars and incisors are erupting.

Successful orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, but there is usually an optimum time for treatment to begin. An early examination allows our orthodontic specialists to decide how and when a particular problem should be treated for the best result while keeping treatment time to a minimum.

Orthodontics is more than just “straightening” teeth. This specialty of dentistry is actually called Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Dentofacial orthopedics deals with the growth and the development of the face and jaw structure. Not everyone grows the same amount, or at the same time, so there is not one best plan of treatment that can be used for everyone. Each person should be evaluated and a specific treatment plan designed for their individual needs.

Identifying an orthodontic problem at an early age does not necessarily mean early treatment. We may simply want to check periodically while the permanent teeth erupt and the jaws and face keep growing. Treatment may be delayed until most permanent teeth have erupted, usually in the early teens.

However, if a problem is identified that requires early attention, intervention with interceptive treatment can take advantage of growth, lessen the severity of a problem, and make completion of treatment at a later age less time-consuming and less expensive.

An improved appearance through orthodontic treatment can greatly enhance a person’s self-esteem, young or old. Greater self-esteem can improve one’s quality of life and create new opportunities both personally and professionally.

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