When Should a Child First Visit the Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children start seeing an orthodontist by age seven. This helps Dr. David Ross catch problems early and give your child the best treatment.

Why Are Children Being Evaluated at Such an Early Age?

An early diagnostic gives Dr. Ross a chance to make sure that your child’s permanent teeth come in without any problems. Early treatment makes it possible to correct problems like thumb sucking, speech problems, or issues with swallowing before they become more serious.

If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Ross can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also help gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment, after all the permanent teeth erupt.

Does Every Child Need Early Treatment?

Your child might not need early treatment. Some problems are easier to treat when your child is older and has all of their permanent teeth.

Dr. Ross will decide what your child needs at their first appointment. If your child isn’t ready for treatment but will need it in the future, we’ll put them in our supervisory program.

What Is the Future Ross’ Smile Stars Club?

This program lets us monitor children who aren’t ready for treatment yet but will be when they are older.

Sometimes we can pull out baby teeth early to help your child’s permanent teeth grow in a better pattern. This can shorten the amount of time your child needs braces.

If Dr. Ross decides that we need to monitor your child, we’ll see you every 6-8 months to watch how your child’s mouth grows. This program is free and helps Dr. Ross determine the best time to start your child’s treatment to get the best results.

Besides a Beautiful New Smile, What Are other Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?

Braces can improve function of the bite and teeth, make it easier to clean teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime.

Will my Child Still Need Braces as a Teen if They Have Early Treatment?

In some cases, early treatment is enough and your child won’t need full braces. But this doesn’t always happen.

Most of the time, early treatment can help keep simple problems from getting more severe, making future treatment less complicated. Once your child’s permanent teeth have come in, Dr. Ross will be able to tell how much treatment is still necessary.

Even though early treatment may not fix all problems, it can shorten the amount of time your child needs to wear full braces.

Do We Still Need to See Our Family Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes. Your child should see their dentist every six months because it’s very important to take good care of your teeth when you’re wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances.

It also takes a little more effort, and your dentist can help your child take the best care of their teeth.