We’re often asked about the best time to have children evaluated for orthodontic treatment. The challenge is that (as we all know!) every child is different. However, a good milestone is around age seven, when the jaw is developed enough, and there are enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to tell if there are any current issues… or any that may pop up down the line. Advanced Orthodontics, Dr. Matthew Stout makes sure to offer complimentary consultations for all of his patients to be sure that if early treatment is indicated, we focus on it at the right time.
At Advanced Orthodontics we’re so focused on Orthodontics and Oral health for kids 7 and up that we’ve nicknamed early treatment “OO7!” (Be sure to visit our Facebook page for some OO7 fun!)
Benefits of Early Treatment Include:
- Preventing Overcrowding: Traditionally, orthodontists may wait until age 12 or 13 to treat a crowding problem, but the problem isn’t going to get any better by waiting. Through early treatment we can regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, creating additional space for permanent teeth. This can decrease the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth and can even help correct abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
- Preventing Crossbites: A crossbite is when you close your mouth and some of your upper teeth are sitting inside your lower teeth. A trained eye can see early on if a crossbite is in the works and will be an issue as the rest of your child’s permanent teeth come in. The earlier treatment begins, the easier it will be because your child’s jaw is less developed at this early age and can be guided along the right path rather than working to reverse issues at a later age.
- Simplifying Treatment: Early treatment (Phase 1), when indicated, can simplify later treatment (Phase 2). Children who undergo early treatment often have a much shorter second phase of treatment once their permanent teeth come in. This makes life easier for both of you as their schedules get busier and busier.
Dr. Stout will assess your child’s individual needs during the first consultation. Concerns such as crowding, large spacing, problematic facial growth and bad habits, such as thumb-sucking, cheek-biting, or tongue-thrusting are taken into consideration. Afterwards, he will determine your child’s custom treatment plan, if necessary.
Dr. Stout truly loves working with patients of all ages and building relationships while creating beautiful, confident, healthy and personalized smiles. He believes one of his greatest rewards is the first time a patient sees their smile in the mirror after treatment. You will love getting to know Dr. Stout and working with him and the Advanced Orthodontics team to achieve your amazing smile!
We can’t wait to meet you!