Good Dental Health Starts Early.
The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the family dentist by his or her first birthday, while baby (primary) teeth are emerging. By seeing a child early, your dentist can see how teeth and jaws are developing, and can alert you to changes that might occur as your child grows. Early childhood is an excellent time to lay the foundation for a lifetime of good dental habits. But good dental health means more than the health of individual teeth and the gums. To get a smile that’s good for life, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned – in other words, a healthy bite.
All Kids Should Get An Orthodontic Check-Up No Later Than Age 7
When most people think of orthodontics, they think of teenagers. And the fact is, most orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14, however, by age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That’s important, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re found early.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.
Even if a problem is detected, Dr. Perih may not recommend immediate treatment. Chances are, she will take a “wait-and-see” approach, checking on your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. For each patient who needs treatment, there’s an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results. An orthodontist is the specialist who has the knowledge to determine when the time is just right. In some cases, your orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Typically, early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances, which may be removable, to guide the growth of young bones and create a better environment for adult teeth as they emerge. In some cases, Dr. Perih will be able to achieve results that wouldn’t be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. Early treatment gives your orthodontist the chance to:
- Guide jaw growth.
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth.
- Correct harmful oral habits like thumb or finger sucking
- Improve appearance and self-esteem.
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position.
- Improve the way lips meet.
What If My Child Is Older?
Even if your child is past age 7, it is important to have an orthodontic check-up as soon as possible. The fact is that most orthodontic patients begin active treatment between ages 9 and 14. Of course, every case is different. But generally speaking, because children are still growing, this age range is optimal for achieving the best possible results from orthodontic treatment.
It’s Never Too Late To Get Started
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients today is over age 18. Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible, more comfortable brackets, adults are finding braces more appealing. Healthy teeth, bones and gums respond well to orthodontic treatment at almost any age. It’s never too late to get a healthy, beautiful smile.
An Affordable Investment With A Lifetime Of Benefits
In addition to improving oral health, orthodontic treatment can provide the confidence that comes with a healthy, attractive smile for years to come. And you may be pleasantly surprised to find how affordable such a great investment can be. We will will work with you to arrive at a payment plan that fits within your budget. In addition, many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits. Dollar for dollar, when you consider the lifetime benefits of orthodontic treatment, it is truly a great value.