Dr. Trupkin, Wilentz and Babyak agree on the importance of seeking an orthodontic evaluation early. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial evaluation should occur by age 7. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time, allowing common conditions to be evaluated. Early evaluation can prevent more serious problems from developing later and often simplify later treatment and/or prevent surgery or tooth extractions.
Signs that your child may need early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 13)
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
- Speech impediments
- Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
- Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
- Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your dentist to visit the orthodontist, please call us and schedule an appointment.