Early Ortho: Why Evaluate Your Child at Age 7

Orthodontic treatment is commonly associated with teenagers and adults, but the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Many parents may wonder why it is necessary to have their child evaluated at such a young age, especially when most children still have their baby teeth. However, there are several important reasons why early evaluation can be beneficial for a child’s oral health and development.

One of the main reasons for an early orthodontic evaluation is to identify any potential issues with a child’s jaw or dental development. By age 7, a child’s mouth is developed enough to allow an orthodontist to assess the growth patterns of the teeth and jaws. This early evaluation can help to detect any issues such as uneven bite, overcrowding, or excessive spacing between teeth, which can lead to more severe problems if left untreated.

Furthermore, early orthodontic evaluation allows for timely intervention in case there are any developing orthodontic problems. In some cases, early treatment can help to guide the growth and development of the teeth and jaws, and potentially prevent the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later on. For example, if a child is found to have a narrow upper jaw, a palatal expander can be used to widen the upper jaw before it fully develops, avoiding the need for more invasive treatment in the future.

Another benefit of an early orthodontic evaluation is that it provides an opportunity for parents and orthodontists to discuss any potential orthodontic concerns and to address any questions or worries. This can help to alleviate any anxiety or uncertainty that parents may have about their child’s oral development, and can also facilitate early education on proper oral hygiene and dental care.

In addition, an early orthodontic evaluation can help to establish a positive relationship between the child and the orthodontist, which can be important for a child’s overall dental health. By making the orthodontist’s office a familiar and comfortable place, children can feel more at ease about receiving orthodontic treatment in the future, if it becomes necessary.

Overall, an early orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 can play a crucial role in a child’s oral health and development. By identifying and addressing any potential orthodontic issues early on, parents can help to ensure that their child’s teeth and jaws develop properly, potentially avoiding the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment in the future. Therefore, it is strongly recommended for parents to schedule an orthodontic evaluation for their child by the age of 7, in order to give their child the best chance at a healthy and beautiful smile.