What age should a child visit the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. This allows Dr. O’Gara and Dr. Gilbert to determine if orthodontic treatment will be necessary and the best time for the patient to be treated.

Why visit an orthodontist by 7?

  • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
  • While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
  • Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
  • An orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Why are children being evaluated at an early age?

Early diagnosis and treatment can:

  • Guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position
  • Preserve space for permanent teeth
  • Reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth

If early treatment is indicated, we can:

  • Guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions
  • Reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Correct thumb-sucking
  • Improve/eliminate abnormal swallowing
  • Improve/eliminate speech problems

What is an orthodontic observation program?

The orthodontic observation program is for patients who are not ready for treatment yet. This program allows us to monitor the eruptive patterns of the permanent teeth. We see patients on recall every 6-8 months to observe their progress as they grow. This complimentary program allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.

In addition to a beautiful new smile, what are some other benefits of orthodontic treatment?

  • Improve the function of the bite and teeth
  • Improve oral hygiene
  • Prevent wear on the teeth
  • Increase the longevity of natural teeth
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habit
  • Improve appearance and self-esteem
  • Guide permanent teeth to a better position
  • Improve the way the lips meet

Does early treatment prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?

Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent severe issues from developing, and simplify future treatment.

Do you still need to see your family dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances require more effort to keep their teeth and gums clean. We want to ensure the highest level of dental health, we recommend you see your family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every 3-6 months during treatment.

With a highly trained, professional staff

We will develop a treatment plan to achieve your dream smile

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