Seventh Birthday Approaching? Time For a Visit to the Orthodontist!

December 6, 2021

Many parents associate braces and orthodontics with their teen years but you may be surprised to learn that the best time for your little one to have their first orthodontic visit is around their 7th birthday. We know, we know - they’re still running around the jungle gym and definitely not exhibiting any tween behavior (at least we hope not for your sake!). That said, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends children be seen by an orthodontist at age seven and we at Signature Orthodontics absolutely agree. Why by age seven? By age 7, your child’s mouth has matured enough for a trained orthodontic eye to spot current and possible future issues. We can then make recommendations that will help guide their jaw and teeth into a healthier place for an easier straight smile later on. There are many benefits to starting orthodontic treatment as a child; these include potential shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. That’s because with early orthodontics we can:

  • Guide teeth into desired positions early
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
  • Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking

If I bring my child to you at age 7 are you definitely going to recommend early orthodontics? Nope! Every child is different and we customize every treatment plan to the individual. Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all permanent teeth have come in; some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or complete. Dr. Mortimer, Dr. Chou, and Dr. Raggi develop a customized treatment plan based on each individual child’s needs. If you recommend early orthodontics for my child, does that mean they won’t need braces as a teen? Early treatment (phase 1) can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but oftentimes, additional treatment is still necessary. That said, children who have undergone early orthodontic treatment typically wear braces or clear aligners for a shorter period of time in the teen years than those who have not undergone early intervention. This makes life easier for both them, and you, as both of your schedules get busier and busier. Every child is unique. We can’t wait to meet you and your seven-year-old! Click below to schedule a complimentary consultation with us.


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