Early orthodontic treatment isn’t something that comes to mind for a lot of parents. After all, why would a young child require orthodontic care?
You might be surprised. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents schedule an appointment for their children by age 7 or after the molars have erupted. If no early treatment arises from that first appointment, Dr. Jones will ask to see your child in a year to observe their growth and development.
Not every visit is going to end with a prescription for orthodontic treatment. Your child’s first orthodontist visit will include an examination of the teeth, mouth, and jaw. We will likely take photos and an x-ray so we can get a good look at your child’s bite and use the images as a baseline for growth and development.
Dr. Jones will also follow up with questions about any problems your child may have noticed while chewing or swallowing, or if they hear or feel any popping or clicking noises when the jaws open or close.
Baby teeth are usually all lost by the time a child reaches age 13. Jaw growth is generally complete by mid to late teenage years. Compared to early orthodontic treatment, adult orthodontic treatment can be more expensive, require more time, and jaw surgery may be necessary to correct an issue that could have been prevented or corrected at a younger age. That said, it’s obvious that interceptive treatment as early as the age of 7 can have multiple benefits. Here are some of the benefits of visiting our orthodontic practice at that age:
- Growth and development of the jaws can be better monitored
- Permanent teeth can be guided into the correct positions to avoid spacing or overcrowding problems
- Front teeth can be protected against any risks of trauma
- Teaching kids proper oral hygiene habits to improve their teeth, mouth, and gum health
- Eliminate the potential complexity and increased cost of comprehensive orthodontic treatment by having Phase 1 treatment
Not only can early treatment save money in the long-run, it can also decrease overall treatment time during the comprehensive phase.
Contact us to schedule a complimentary orthodontic screening for your child. We’re available at 540-563-1640, or you may use our appointment request form. Before your appointment, take a look at our first-appointment blog post to learn what to expect. After your child’s examination, we’ll discuss our payment plans and financing options and help you maximize your insurance, FSA or HSA benefits.
— Dr. Jones and the Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team