The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems, or no later than age 7. In most circumstances, treatment is not recommended at this young age even if the teeth are not all perfectly straight, but a vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt establishing the back bite. It is also the age when the front incisor teeth come in. At this young age, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of these permanent adult teeth can indicate problems with crossbite(s), overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. It is also at this young age that bad habits, like thumb sucking, can negatively affect the position of the adult teeth. Early evaluation provides timely detection of these problems and can help prevent them from becoming worse.
While an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal. Well-timed screening increases the chances that you and Dr. Chad will be able to choose the appropriate time to ensure the greatest results in the least amount of time and in the most cost effective manner.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are: