A frequent concern of many parents who notice that their child's teeth are not growing in correctly is - when is the right time to see the orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen for an initial screening exam at age 7. Phoenix orthodontist Dr. John Budd explains that many children will not require treatment at this age. However, many of the permanent adult teeth will have started to erupt by this age and more significant problems can be discovered and avoided with timely orthodontic treatment.
Some of the problems that might require treatment at an earlier stage, sometimes referred to as Phase I treatment include: crossbites, underbites (the lower teeth in front of the upper teeth), severe crowding, bites that present a risk of damage to the gum tissue or severely protrusive teeth to give a few examples. An orthodontist can determine which problems will benefit from preventive treatment and which can wait for the eruption of all the adult teeth.
The best way to determine if your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment is to see an orthodontist for a screening exam. Budd Orthodontics offers free consultations to assist parents in determining if now is the right time to begin treatment with braces or Invisalign or if waiting for more dental development would be more beneficial.