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Are you wondering when the right time is to take your child to an orthodontic visit? Many parents can’t imagine their child seeing an orthodontist while they still have baby teeth. However, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child have a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7.

What is the reason for this? By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate the relationship developing among the teeth, jaw, and bite. Orthodontists can determine what, if anything, is awry.

Early orthodontic treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

– Guide jaw growth
– Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
– Correct harmful oral habits
– Improve appearance
– Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
– Improve the way lips meet

Early orthodontic treatment begins when a child’s jaw bones and upper palate are still soft and pliable. They do not harden until a child reaches his or her teens. While the bones are pliable, functional orthodontic appliances that attach to the child’s teeth, can be used to control the growth of the jaw bones and dental arches. This early growth modification can often prevent dental trauma, the need for jaw surgery, and the need for permanent teeth to be extracted in the future. It can also make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

An early evaluation doesn’t always mean the patient will need treatment immediately, or even at all. The check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development. Then, if needed, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the goal is to provide each patient with the best treatment at the most appropriate time.

Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

To schedule a complimentary consultation for your child, or yourself at Spillers Orthodontics, call 478-953-2700 or visit www.drspillers.com.