What is the appropriate age to start taking your child to see an orthodontist? While there may be other kids at your child’s school running around with braces on, or others you know that have not had braces until well into their teens or 20’s, the best time for your child’s first visit to the orthodontist is between 8-10 years old.
At this age, a child’s jaw is still malleable enough to alter and change with minimal pain or discomfort, and starting young often means less complications with treatment then if starting later on in life. Having treatment earlier rather than later will not rule out the possibility of having to have further orthodontic treatment later on, but it can reduce the likelihood of complications arising or the problem becoming more difficult to treat.
You may be thinking 8 is quite young, “my child still has baby teeth?”. While treatment may not begin until a few years later, having your child’s mouth assessed when at this age means that the orthodontist will be able to evaluate the development of their jaw and teeth while adult teeth are still growing.
Many people believe that orthodontists only job is to put on braces, however if your child’s teeth look straight it may still be worthwhile visiting an orthodontist. Orthodontists will not only assess for the appearance of straightness of the teeth but a multitude of other problems including crowding, bad habits such as thumb sucking, underbites, jaw shape and other functional problems of the mouth.
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