Why Your Child Should See an Orthodontist By Age 7

La Grange, IL – Did you know that it is recommended that all children see an orthodontist by the age of seven? While in most cases, orthodontic treatment will not be needed right away, this gives an orthodontist the opportunity to evaluate and then monitor the teeth and growth of a child’s jaw, so that if treatment is required, it can begin at just the right time to provide the best result.

“The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first consultation no later than the age of seven.” says Dr. William Beam, an La Grange orthodontist. “This allows us to evaluate jaw growth, tooth position, airway, and intercept any issues that may be much more difficult to treat is not treats early.”

Your child’s baby teeth may look great to you – their smile may be straight, and they speak and chew just fine. But, there could be issues lurking under the surface that only the trained eye of an orthodontist can spot.

“The majority of children won’t need braces at the age of seven,” says Dr. Richard Battistoni. “But some children do need early interceptive treatment to help guide jaw growth, and ensure there is adequate room for their permanent teeth. By having your child checked early, and beginning treatment at the precise time it will have the most impact, we can improve outcomes.”

Early treatment allows the orthodontist to help guide jaw growth, correct the effects of any harmful oral habits your child might have had, and to improve the function, health and appearance of your child’s bite.

By the age of seven, an orthodontist can begin to tell if your child is at risk for problems of spacing, crowding or crooked teeth. The baby teeth fall out in a specific pattern, and in some instances, deviation from this usual pattern can indicate there may be a problem that orthodontic treatment will be able to help.

Early treatment can prevent more serious problems from occurring, and then make treatment later shorter and less complicated. It also allows the orthodontist the opportunity to achieve results that might not otherwise be possible if the jaw has stopped growing.

Indications that your child might need early interceptive orthodontic treatment include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Problems chewing or speaking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking or extended pacifier use
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Front teeth that do not meet properly

Multiple phase orthodontic treatment provides excellent results because it allows our orthodontist to begin treatment at precisely the right time that it will have the best impact. While your child’s first visit may not indicate an immediate need, beginning a relationship with an orthodontist will allow the orthodontist to monitor your child, and give your child the treatment he or she needs, when he or she needs it most.

The first initial consultation is complimentary and typically only takes about 60 minutes. If early treatment is indicated, our orthodontist will discuss a treatment plan and costs. If no treatment is indicated at the time, a follow-up appointment to monitor the teeth will be schedule. To schedule a free initial screening for your child, call Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics at 708-848-5900 (Oak Park office) or 708-352-4500 (La Grange office).

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1 Comment

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