What is the Right Age to see an Orthodontist for Childrens Orthodontic Treatment Assessment?

Childrens braces are generally fitted when all adult teeth erupt. However, it is important for young children to undergo orthodontic screening between the age of 7-9 years. This screening helps to identify developing bite or jaw problems that are best treated before children reach puberty. At this age, the baby teeth are sound and strong enough to support orthodontic appliances. Delaying treatment till an adult can result in crowding becoming worse over time, increase impacted teeth, and make jaw problems much harder to address later. By having the assessment completed early, moderate to severe conditions can be treated early. Conditions then do not worsen or create more complex treatment in the future.

What happens if childrens braces are not needed at age 8?

At our practice, parents can have peace of mind that their children would be recalled to a time when they would be best suited for braces. But we also review for any early intervention that may be recommended before braces.

If my child starts early intervention treatment, or early orthodontic treatment at 7,8 or 9 years, will they still needs braces later?

  • Aim of child orthodontic treatment or early intervention is to address any underlying jaw problems. Having treatment completed earlier makes further orthodontic treatment with braces simpler.
  • Braces do not correct the underlying jaw structure. By correcting the jaw structure, it allows us to position the teeth into their correct positions.
  • Braces are generally fitted when all adult teeth erupt.
  • In late teens and adults correcting the same jaw structure when bones have hardened could mean jaw surgery may be required at additional costs, time and  complexity of treatment. 
  • Early orthodontic treatment does not prevent braces, but it allows your child to attain ideal smile outcomes. Some examples of orthodontic appliances are orthodontic spacer or orthodontic expander, which helps to prevent the crowding from worsening as more adult teeth develop

7 conditions for Your 7-9 year old child to see an Orthodontist

Small lower jaw and chin
Overbite
  • Small lower jaws or chins:

    e.g., child finding it hard to close their lips together, or lower lips is trapped behind upper front teeth. Our patients have reported feeling insecure, or being teased at school. It may also increase risk of injury from contact sports and games.

Teeth Underbite
Underbite
  • Large lower jaws or small upper jaw or ‘Underbite’:

    Lower front teeth are biting in front of upper teeth. Treating this early, reduces the need for extensive treatment like jaw surgery. Treatment before the age of 10 proves to have the best success.

Narrow jaw
Narrow jaw
  • Narrow upper jaw:

    One of the most obvious signs of a narrow upper jaw are upper crowded front teeth. You may observe your frequently has a blocked nose, and as a result breathes through his/her mouth. Our patients parents have reported improvements in breathing through nose after upper expander treatment.

  • Early removal of baby teeth:

    Early removal of baby teeth may be caused by trauma or tooth decay. The adjacent teeth may start leaning into the space, and therefore, the adult tooth does not have enough room to erupt.

  • Biting top teeth directly onto the bottom teeth, ‘Edge to Edge’:

    May lead to permanent teeth wear. If this is left until all the adult teeth have erupted, it can lead to uneven wear of front teeth edges and may mean additional cosmetic dental treatment.

Thumbsucking
Thumbsucking
  • Prolonged Thumb Sucking:

    If still present after the age of 4 years old, can lead to jaw and teeth problems developing. May also cause an overbite forming between the front teeth. Find out more about simple solutions to help your child break this thumbsucking habit.

  • Other conditions ie: extra teeth, impacted teeth:

    May be evident e.g., the tooth on the right side has erupted. At other times, the presence of this can only be picked up through an X-ray.

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