At Andrews Orthodontics, we see patients of all ages, from adolescents to adults, but we prefer to see patients for the first time when they’re children. Specifically, the best age for a first orthodontic appointment is age 7.
The American Association of Orthodontics, the largest professional organization of orthodontists in the country, also recommends age 7 as the age to first see an orthodontist.
Why age 7? Isn’t that a little young?
Indeed, it is young, and that’s the point. At this age, the adult mouth is starting to form, but it’s early enough for us to guide growth. The first adult molars are erupting, and the bite is taking shape. We can evaluate tooth relationships, emerging malocclusions (bad bites), crowding, and other issues.
It’s very unlikely we’ll recommend that a seven-year-old should start wearing braces, but we can take action that opens up room for crowded teeth, creates facial symmetry, reduces the need for tooth extraction, and more. Basically, starting treatment early means we can prevent emerging problems. That ultimately means less involved orthodontic treatment down the road and better outcomes.
We offer free checkups to monitor children’s emerging orthodontic health. See our Kids Club page for more info.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces