According to the Australian Society of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists, if you or your family dentist suspects early signs of orthodontic problem, then it is recommended to have an orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7.
Why is the age 7 considered the most optimal time for the first orthodontic evaluation?
It is rare to begin orthodontic treatment before the age of 7. This is because a child’s bite is not established until all the first adult molars (6 year old molars) erupt, and most orthodontic appliances requires the first adult molars to act as anchors.
What are the advantages of early treatment?
Early detection of orthodontic problems allows timely intervention by the orthodontist, guiding jaw growth, and prevents the problems becoming more serious later.
While there is no guarantee early treatment can prevent braces later, there are several advantages of early treatment:
- Reducing the need for tooth extractions by either preserving space for the unerupted teeth, or creating space
- Preventing facial asymmetry by correction of cross bites
- Reducing the risk of trauma to the protruding front teeth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to the palate due to deep bite
- Reducing future treatment time with braces
If treatment is recommended but the timing is not right, your orthodontist may choose to carefully monitor your child's growth and development, and begin treatment when the time is optimal.