AAO_Clarise_142Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. In other words early treatment is indicated only if we can accomplish something that cannot be accomplished at a time when all the permanent teeth have erupted.

For more Information:

Problems to watch for in growing children (English) (Spanish)

Some of the advantages of early treatment are:

  • Creating Room for Crowding
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for uninterrupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve the width of the smile
  • Expansion of a narrow palate creating more space for permanent teeth to erupt later
  • Improves a child’s self image by improving alignment of the anterior teeth

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Producing teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.