No Later Than Age 7
Good Dental Health Starts Early
As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile! Start with regular dental care — The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit
the dentist by his or her first birthday, while baby (primary) teeth are emerging. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing. But sometimes parents are the first to recognize a problem with the alignment of teeth and jaws.
Give Your Child the Gift of a Healthy Smile
Well-aligned teeth look good and feel good! They contribute to good dental health and the ability to speak, chew and bite. Poorly aligned teeth can lead to dental problems. Not everyone needs
orthodontic treatment. But if your child does need help, a check-up no later than age 7 will help your orthodontist provide the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. Make sure your child sees an orthodontist for a check-up no later than age 7.
A Lifetime of Benefits: Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment – Consult an Orthodontist
While orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, some children’s orthodontic problems can benefit from earlier treatment. If it appears that your child will need treatment at some point, your orthodontist can advise you about the best time to begin. If early treatment is indicated, it can give your orthodontist the chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem
- Guide permanent teeth into a better position
- Improve the way lips meet
Signs the Bite Isn’t Right: Orthodontists Can Spot Subtle Differences
It’s not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding an unhealthy bite! Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
All Kids Should Get a Check-Up with an Orthodontist No Later Than Age 7
By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing. Putting off a check-up with an orthodontist until
a child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early! A check-up no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Why Choose an Orthodontic Specialist?
Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Both Dr. O’Gara and Dr. Gilbert successfully completed this formal education, so they may now call themselves an“orthodontist,” Only orthodontists can be members of the American Association of Orthodontists.
The OG Ortho Difference
O’Gara – Gilbert Orthodontics’ practice philosophy puts the patient first. Although we do wish to evaluate a patient around age 7, if there are no imminent concerns to address we will move the patient into an observation state (we lovingly refer to our program as the OBS program!). This means that we will monitor the patient’s growth and development at 3 – 6 month intervals until we feel that treatment is absolutely necessary and the timing is perfect. The best part of our OBS program is that there is no cost to the patient until treatment actually begins, creating a win-win situation for all!
If you have any questions or concerns throughout your treatment or in the future, please consult Dr. O’Gara and/or Dr. Gilbert.