Many people make the incorrect assumption that an orthodontist is a cosmetic dentist. True, some of the work they do improves the aesthetics of a person’s mouth, but a more substantial portion of their work is about correcting abnormalities that might lead to significant oral health issues later on. However, at what point should you bring your child to an orthodontist? While the number of preteens and teenagers wearing braces may indicate that a child can wait until mid to late adolescence, parents should schedule their child’s first orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. In fact, it is even beneficial to bring your child in sooner to ensure the best care possible.
Early Intervention is Crucial
While many parents have a misconception that the first orthodontist appointment should wait until after their child has all of their permanent teeth, there is a good reason for early intervention. By the age of seven, your child should have their first set of molars as well as their front teeth; these teeth help an orthodontist determine your child’s natural bite pattern, defining the course for the treatment plan. Also, early intervention is crucial for observation and correction. By bringing your child to the orthodontist at the age of seven or earlier, the doctor can see all potential issues and figure out a way to correct them.
Benefits of Early Treatment
Although early intervention is crucial for aligning your child’s bite, there are several other benefits for bringing them in at a young age. For example, by scheduling an appointment before all of the child’s adult teeth have come in, you allow for interventional treatments, such as spacers, palatal expanders, and retainers. In addition to interventional treatment being started at a young age, your child will probably have to visit the orthodontist regularly to ensure jaw and tooth growth remain in alignment.
No Age Restrictions
While early intervention will make the alignment process easier, orthodontic visits and treatments can benefit people of all ages. Braces are not limited to children. However, some treatments are more effective than others the younger the patient is because as you age your jaw and teeth are not as flexible or maneuverable.
The best time for someone to see an orthodontist is by the age of seven. However, anyone at any age can benefit from orthodontic care. Therefore, if you are considering orthodontic treatment for either you or your child, contact an orthodontist, like an orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, from John Redmond Orthodontics, and discuss your options.